Home of the Year

Judging is currently underway for Home of the Year 2021 — the 26th year of New Zealand’s highly regarded prize for residential architecture.

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
(details TBC).


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

Home of the Year 2021 judging

This week, we follow the Home of the Year 2021 judges as they embark 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

Why the 56-tonne concrete roof in this winning home isn’t oppressive

Architect Jack McKinney discusses the collaborative process that went into designing and building this award-winning home with its 56-tonne concrete roof Q&A with architect Jack McKinney You’ve worked with Cam on many projects – how does this affect the way you design for him? We


No more articles to load

No articles found