Visionary Architecture Awards 2018 - Winners


The judges tell us that this year’s entries were of a particularly high standard, especially those in the undergraduate category and our helpers pinning the work up thought so too! Thanks to the space available at our venue this year, we squeezed a few more into each category of finalists. Here are the results:

Judging panel (left to right): Dr Kathy Waghorn, Dr Fleur Palmer, Jeanette Budgett, and Kim Huynh

Judging panel (left to right): Dr Kathy Waghorn, Dr Fleur Palmer, Jeanette Budgett, and Kim Huynh

Special thanks to our judging panel of Dr Fleur Palmer (AUT), Dr Kathy Waghorn (UoA), Jeanette Budgett (Unitec), and Kim Huynh (PAC Studio), and to our principal sponsor Polyflor and other sponsors Katalog, The Digital Darkroom, Urban Advisory and The Alistair Munro Design Company. Without their support this event would not be possible.

We also thank Marte Szirmay for her generous support: the winners received half-size replicas of the original bronzes created for the awards in 1976. Thank you to all who entered and we congratulate the finalists, those commended and the winners.



The Winners:


Student Undergraduate:

Rata’s Lesson of Whakaaetanga by Finn Forstner



“Two strong themes came out in undergraduate projects; social / community housing and indigenising the city. The winning project is an exquisitely drawn joyous transformation of a stolid, intractable modernist tower in Albert St currently inhabited by the Auckland Council. An architectural epiphyte, this mobile, dynamic tensile, lightweight, temporary architecture, animates the existing structure through an outsider carnival, fairground temporal quality that draws on creatures who inhabit the rata”.


Runner up:

Beauty of Change by Jingyuan Huang, Angela Lai, Dennis Byun, Todd Min, Shuren Ma, John Woo, Harry Tse and Chris Choi

Highly Commended:

Vakas of the Great Fleet by Dorien Viliamu

Journey into the Dark Horizon by Tamin Song

Revealing Horotiu by Sam Moloney


Student Postgraduate:

Three by Jeremy Priest


This project also won the Supreme Award for the best work overall.

“Three proposes an architecture that uniquely addresses the housing crisis in suburban Auckland by designing a network of 30m2 infill dwellings. It seeks to abandon backyard fences by occupying the unused space at the boundary line. This is a quiet project – but through further investigation it proposes a radical suburban proposition that celebrates architecture. Each infill house is finely detailed and spatially complex, taking into consideration the utilities as these are collectively threaded underneath and above the garden pavilions. A truly compelling project that reacts to the wider context of our society whilst creating a bespoke individualised architecture that could be realised”.


Runner up:

Mapping the Feke by Icao Tiseli

Newton Central Kindergarten by Henry Fraser

Highly Commended:

Machine of Agonistic Engagement by Jin Woo Kuk

Endangered Architecture: The Resuscitation of the Last Li Village by Jintao Yang


Open Conceptual:

New Zealand’s Rural Enigma by Isaac Sweetapple



“New Zealand’s Rural Enigma is a challenging project that draws on extensive research on masculinity in Aotearoa New Zealand as recorded in various forms of media and cultural production. Perceptive and accurate in the pinpointing of cultural flaws, the project revels in a jokey-blokey position, and knowingly ironic, it bravely holds this position across five provocative architectural propositions; for a billboard/gateway, an abattoir, a chapel to rugby (the national religion), a men’s bathhouse/clubrooms and a bolt-hole for American tech capitalist Peter Thiel. Taking risks with representation, this is a kind of anti-architecture – we do not really want to see this kind of architecture, but we do really want to see architecture, as a discipline, leveraged for just this kind of critical engagement with the world”.


Runner up:

The Lost Carpark by Yan Li

Highly Commended:

Scholastic Dynamism by Abdallah Alayan

Victims of the Korean War by Tamin Song

No Happy Ending This Time by Jessica O’Reilly and Max Irving-Lamb


Open Work in Progress:

Kapiti Watchtower by the Wellington team of Sam Kebbell, Cam Wilson, Riley Adams-Winch, Callum Leslie, Andrew Charleson and Martin Bryant



“The Kapiti Watchtower or Museum of Itself/MOI,  is a departure point for visitors to Kapiti Island.  The project cleverly deploys public behaviour no. 1 - selfie photography - to do more than decorate Facebook pages. Along elevated boardwalks this performative architecture encourages tourists to gratify their selfie urges and simultaneously participate in a citizen-science project.  Peripheral data  captured in the images records incremental environmental change, vegetation growth and shifting dunes for example.  A  signal-striped paint job invigorates the architecture, and functions as a height gauge to measure this change. This design is ingeniously conceived and sensitively scaled, a coastal architecture that is smart and delightful”.


Runner up:

Tall Hut by Craig Moller and Areez Katki

Alistair Munro