Wellington Scoop

Scots College student wins national award for architectural writing

News from NZIA
The Secondary School category of the Warren Trust Awards for architectural writing, New Zealand’s leading essay competition for design writing. has been won by Ethan Beri, a year 11 student at Scots College, Wellington, who wrote about the Wellington Central Library, an iconic building which is now closed and under threat of demolition.

For the second year in a row, Whangārei designer and writer Jade Kake (Ngāpuhi, Te Arawa, Te Whakatōhea) has won the Open category of the Awards. Jade, who leads a small practice supporting Māori communities and organisations develop marae and papakāinga projects, won the award for an essay on Ruapekapeka, the Northland pā defended by Ngāti Hine chief Te Ruki Kawiti against British soldiers in the summer of 1845-46.

Three Highly Commended awards were made. Charlotte Hughes-Hallett, an architecture graduate working in Wellington, received a Highly Commended award for her essay on E-1027, the near-legendary villa on the Côte d’Azur in France designed by the early twentieth century Irish modernist architect Eileen Gray.

Narelle McCullum, an architecture student at Unitec, Auckland, won a Highly Commended award for her essay on the house in the Auckland suburb of Kohimarama designed by the influential architect and academic Rewi Thompson.

The third Highly Commended award went to Phoebe Pierard, a year 12 student at St Mary’s College, Ponsonby, Auckland, for her essay on the Pantheon, the temple in the centre of Rome built by the Emperor Hadrian in the second century A.D. which for 1400 years has been used as a Catholic church.

The Architectural Writing Awards are a programme of Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) supported by the educational trust established by the eminent New Zealand architect, Sir Miles Warren.

The purpose of the competition is to encourage writing and commentary about architecture in the essay format.

NZIA spokesperson and Awards judge John Walsh said this year’s Architectural Writing Awards attracted a wide range of writers, from school students and architecture graduates to more experienced authors.

“Writing now is increasingly is abbreviated so it’s great to see writers, especially younger writers, engaging with the essay format which allows space to explore a theme and develop writing skills,” Walsh said.

The 2019 Warren Trust Awards for Architectural Writing competition was judged by John Walsh, Massey University Press publisher Nicola Legat, and Lucinda Bennett, an editor on the online culture publication The Pantograph Punch.

The Awards carry prizes of $2,000 for the Open category winner, $1,000 for the Secondary School winner and $500 for the three Highly Commended entries.

The NZIA will publish a book of selected essays from the 2019 Warren Trust Awards for Architectural Writing in early 2020.