Home of the Year

Judging for Home of the Year 2021 has been completed and the winners will be announced in the June-July issue of the magazine. The winners will be unveiled at an invitation-only awards ceremony in Auckland on June 4, 2021. 

Home of the Year is an annual programme that celebrates the country’s best new homes, and comes with a $10K prize for the overall winner.

Home of the Year is New Zealand’s highly regarded prize for residential architecture, with categories to celebrate the best City Home of the Year, Small Home of the Year, Rural Home of the Year, Green Home of the Year, and Multi-Unit Home of the Year, each of which recognises the specific nuances of architecture in different contexts.

The overall Home of the Year winner is awarded to a home that captures a moment in time: they aren’t always the grandest, though there have been plenty of those over the years too. They are pure expressions of architectural thought, a unique intersection between a client’s brief and the designer’s vision.

Key dates 2021

The Home of the Year 2021 awards programme is now well underway. Here are the key dates to remember:

18–22 January

Preliminary judging.



Finalists are announced in the April/May issue of HOME. On sale 5 April.



Awards presentation event and announcement of winners.
By invitation only.


HOME’s Home of the Year Special hits the shelves. All winners are publicly announced and published in this issue.

The finalists of Home of the Year 2021

HOME magazine is delighted to announce that the Home of the Year 2021 finalists have been selected. 

Judges Rich Naish, Jessica Walker, and Federico Monsalve have carefully selected the 2021 finalists after great deliberation, visiting numerous homes across the country.

Winners will be unveiled at an awards ceremony in early June, with the June/July 2021 issue of HOME dedicated to celebrating the winning homes in detail.

In the meantime, we leave you with the full list of finalists for you to draw your own conclusions: 

Home of the Year 2021 judging

In this travelogue, we followed the Home of the Year 2021 judges for a week in mid-March as they embarked on ambitious architectural journey around New Zealand.

Meet the judges

This year’s judges of the Home of the Year awards have a diverse range of skills and professional backgrounds. One is from a multi-award-winning architectural firm, another from a boutique atelier with an enviable stable of commercial and residential projects, and the third is a writer and magazine editor with significant national and international experience in the architecture/design industries, and as a jury member and awards convenor.

This trio will shortlist and select finalists in the categories of City Home of the Year, Rural Home of the Year, Small Home of the Year, Multi-Unit Home of the Year, and Green Home of the Year. 

They will then spend a week on back-to-back flights — ranging from Boeings through to four-seater air taxies — back-straining (but highly picturesque) country drives, beach treks, city meanders, hill climbs, and involved in dozens of fascinating conversations to select category winners and the highly anticipated Home of the Year 2021.

Rich Naish — RTA Studio

Rich Naish is founder and design director of RTA Studio. Under his leadership, the studio’s architecture has been recognised for innovation and excellence at the highest level, nationally and internationally.

Rich is a past winner of Home of the Year (for his E-type House). His houses have also won numerous New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) National Awards, as well as an accolade at the World Architecture Festival. He has been the national convener of the NZIA awards programme, judged at the World Architecture Festival, and previously judged the Home of the Year. Rich is also a regular speaker in New Zealand and overseas. 

Jessica Walker — Bureaux

Jessica Walker co-founded award-winning architecture and interior design studio Bureaux in 2010 with fellow architect Maggie Carroll. She has a reputation for crafted, character-filled buildings and interiors and has produced a diverse body of work that ranges across housing, cultural, retail, and hospitality projects. Jess has a particular interest in the realm of the home, having undertaken a master’s thesis looking at the architect’s role in homemaking.

Federico Monsalve — HOME 

Federico is the managing editor of HOME. His journalism career has seen him write and broadcast nationally and internationally for highly respected media outlets in the fields of current affairs, lifestyle, arts, architecture, and design. Until recently, he was the editor of Urbis and Interior magazines. Federico was also the convener of the Interior Awards and was a judge at the 2019 World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam.

Read more about previous entrants and winners

Celebrating the 25th Home of the Year awards and all the past winners

Very special thanks to our sponsor Altherm Window Systems Our annual Home of the Year award is New Zealand’s most prestigious architectural prize, with a cheque of $15,000 going to the winning architects. In celebration of its 25th Anniversary, here’s a look at our previous winners,

Introducing the exciting finalists in Home of the Year 2020

Very special thanks to our sponsor Altherm Window Systems With HOME celebrating its 25th Home of the Year awards, it’s no wonder that the calibre of architecture seen in these finalists is so incredible “The year of the retreat” is how HOME editor and Home


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