Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom wins Public Architecture Award

Published on 15 May 2018

Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom.

Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom won the sole award for public architecture at the New Zealand Institute of Architects Western Architecture Awards on Friday night.

The Foxton community hub, which opened in November 2017, is a partnership between Horowhenua District Council, the Dutch Connection Trust, and Te Taitoa Māori o Te Awahou Trust.

It tells the stories of Māori and other settlers in Horowhenua and the Dutch community in New Zealand, housed in the Piriharakeke Generation Inspiration Centre and Oranjehof Dutch Connection Centre respectively. It combines a library, museums, council service centre, visitor information, community exhibition space, and meeting rooms for the preservation and development of Horowhenua’s cultural, social, and economic heritage.

Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom was designed by Bossley Architects.

The design transformed a large Mitre 10 retail barn by adding a central mezzanine floor that extends beyond the building at each end. The mezzanine floor is in red-stained plywood and has been referred to as both a waka and a storehouse. It contains meeting spaces, workshops, offices and a mezzanine lounge.

The new mezzanine floor transformed the ground floor into a lower central space with higher spaces on either side. These define the library and gallery spaces without creating barriers between them, allowing visitors to flow between spaces.

Near the entry space, the mezzanine floor is interrupted to create a large full-height community space for events and displays.

Sculpture by local artists identifies key entries and adds a colourful element to the building.

Horowhenua District Council Chief Executive David Clapperton congratulated Bossley Architects on the win.

“This award is great recognition for Pete Bossley and his team, and provides fantastic profile for Foxton and Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom,” he said.