Home of the Year 2021
Entries are now open for Home of the Year 2021 – the 26th year of New Zealand’s highly regarded prize for residential architecture.
The award celebrates the country’s best new homes, and comes with a $10,000 prize for Home of the Year. The categories for Small Home of the Year, City Home of the Year, Rural Home of the Year, Green Home of the Year, and Multi-Unit Home of the Year, meanwhile, recognise the specific nuances of architecture in different contexts.
Each project entered is automatically considered for Home of the Year. This goes to the 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.
Houses have been growing in size for more than a century, even as family sizes have shrunk and the cost of building has risen. Small homes challenge designers to provide more with less, creating dwellings that are spatially intriguing and hard-working — all in less than 120 square metres.
Our cities are changing and our architecture has to change with it: the homes in this category are urban in nature and sensibility. Whether it’s a sensitive addition to a heritage street or a tough experiment on the gentrifying urban fringe, these homes are a welcome change of pace for the New Zealand vernacular.
Rural retreats encompass the beach and the countryside, the bach and the second home, recognizing the very particular needs of clients to rejuvenate and decompress. Whether they’re a primary residence or an escape, they’re always one step removed – both geographically and psychologically – from the demands of the city.
We have a patchy track record in creating higher density in our cities and towns: that has to change. This important category encompasses projects that deliver high-density living, from two-house developments to apartments and townhouses, along with mixed-use and social housing. It shows what clever design can do for occupants – not to mention the community at large.
Whether lowering the carbon footprint or creating the healthiest home for its inhabitants, this category recognizes the growing importance of architecture on our individual and communal wellbeing. Are the materials ethically sourced? Are they manufactured to minimize their impact on health and/or environment? Is the resulting house a machine for healthy, eco-conscious living?