Wellington Airport’s terminal The Rock wins 11 awards and counting
7 November 2011
The Rock, Wellington Airport’s controversial international terminal has just won the Transport category at the prestigious World Architecture Festival in Barcelona.
With 11 awards already won, the ground-breaking design, by Studio Pacific Architecture in association with Warren and Mahoney, has really captured the attention of many people throughout New Zealand and the world. A radical departure from the imagery of lightness and flight common to airports worldwide, the design was inspired by Wellington’s craggy sea-battered coast, evoking the anchoring qualities of the land.
The Inside World Festival of Interiors judges said, "We were impressed that the project celebrated the local heritage through symbolic design that didn't adhere to the stereotype of a typical transport building.”
The Rock has also won the Commercial Architecture category at the NZIA Wellington Architecture Awards, which are held annually by the New Zealand Institute of Architects to promote excellence in design and to advance the profession of architecture. As the awards are given by the professional industry body, they are one of the country's most well-recognised and sought-after architectural awards.
“Wellington is known for pushing the boundaries creatively and artistically, and we challenged the architects to develop a design to capture that essence. It is fantastic to look back over the five year development and see its achievement. Not only has it doubled our international passenger capacity and vastly improved passenger facilitation and experience, but it has created an award-winning and unforgettable talking point for visitors and Wellingtonians alike,” said John Howarth, Wellington Airport Acting CEO.
Barcelona’s Inside Festival, the interior design section of the World Architecture Festival, is one of the most prestigious awards worldwide to be nominated for, let alone being the category winner and going through to be a finalist in the overall Interior Award for The World Architecture Festival. The Rock has also collected 11 other architecture, design and building awards including the Purple Pin Supreme Award at the Best Design Awards and winner of the Interior Fitout category at the NZ Timber Design Awards.
The NZIA judges said, “Different, without a doubt, the building dubbed 'The Rocks' puts its stamp, ironically, on New Zealand's air travel landscape. In its defiance of analogies about the freedom and levity of flight, the building's external language is certainly unusual. Cavernous, introverted, and mostly slick interiors articulate a singular response to geometrical and technical challenges. A collegial project team, knitted together seamlessly from two prominent practices, has produced a distinctive Wellington gateway. This provocative intervention begs the question: What next?”
Wellington Airport has also picked up four awards this year, three from the New Zealand Airports Association, as well as being named Australasia's Leading Airport at the World Travel Awards.
Issued by: Wellington International Airport Limited.