Civic Trust Awards – winners announced

2 December 2015

The biennial Civic Trust Awards were announced at a function in Wellington last night (1 December).

Speaking at the event, Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the Civic Trust Awards are a valuable marker for the design direction being taken in Wellington. 

Toni Izzard, Chair of the Civic Trust board, said: “These awards are not just architectural, or heritage restoration awards, but are about reflecting the unique, compact and essential character of Wellington, and look at lifting the level of creativity to produce an outstanding outcome that enhances Wellington’s character.” 

Awards were announced in three categories:

  • Projects that enhance or protect the essential character of Wellington
  • The Grant Tilly Memorial Award for projects that preserve character buildings
  • The People’s Choice for publicly-accessible sculpture, street art and art works. A list of eight entries were notified in The Dominion Post and voted on by hundreds of people.

The judging panel was convened by architect and urban designer Gerald Blunt and included architect Judi Keith-Brown, heritage architect Chris Cochran and landscape architect Dan Males.

Projects that enhance or protect the essential character of Wellington

Four winners:

  • Stories Espresso Bar. This is an exquisite fit-out of a shipping container that sits in a car park in the shared space of lower Cuba Street. This is a fantastic social enterprise model – the Zeal Education Trust has created this venture to provide for a place of training and employment for high school aged young people.
  • Egmont Street Eatery by Foundation Architects. This is a delightful insertion into a nondescript building that has become the highlight of Egmont Street. This project builds on Wellington’s fantastic asset of its laneways by introducing a vibrant and welcoming new business.
  • Wellington LUX Festival - a night-time event with a difference.  Through a series of 36 installations – by both international and national artists, this light festival brought people outside in winter to explore Wellington. It utilised both the city’s waterfront and laneways.
  • 76 Brougham Street by Parsonson Architects. This apartment development sits very comfortably on a corner site in the Mt Victoria character area. It brings a very contemporary twist to a largely 19th century neighbourhood. Roof forms, bulk and mass use the existing building context as precedent. A clock tower introduces a great public interface for a private development.

Grant Tilly Memorial Award

Two joint winners:

  • 19 Kate Sheppard Place. This quirky little two-storey building was first designed by Wellington City Council engineers as an electricity substation in 1925. The building had a four-room flat above the substation. This project has been lovingly restored by the current owners Trevor and Jill Lord, who have used cutting-edge carbob-fibre strengthening techniques and faithfully referred back to the original specifications and materials.
  • Public Trust Building. This Wellington landmark has been faithfully restored and strengthened by Maurice Clarke following damage sustained in the 2013 Seddon earthquake. It is now the home to the Ministry of Culture and Heritage. The quality of work is outstanding, with the front foyer and curved staircase restored back to their original condition. The balance of the ground floor is soon to be a Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant in a finely proportioned ground floor room.

People’s Choice Award

Woman of Words by Virginia King. This stainless-steel sculpture in Midland Park celebrates the life and work of Katherine Mansfield. This was a joint commission by the Katherine Mansfield Society, Wellington City Council and the Wellington Sculpture Trust.