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Wineries design awards winners

The region’s wine producers are winning accolades for more than just the vintages stored behind their cellar doors, with Martinborough’s newest tasting rooms now also recognised for stunning architectural design.

Ata Rangi’s Tasting Room and Nga Waka’s Cellar Door – both of which opened in the past six months – came out on top in Wellington’s Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architecture Awards.

The wineries were among 32 “outstanding projects” that were announced as winners across 10 categories in an awards ceremony at the St James Theatre last night.

The Ata Rangi Tasting Room – by Wellington-based Makers of Architecture – and the Nga Waka Cellar Door – designed by Martinborough’s Aspect Architecture – were the sole winners in the hospitality category.

Nga Waka said it took 30 years, but in November it opened its cellar door on Kitchener St featuring a sloped roof, dark corrugated cladding, and blonde timber eaves.

The concept for Ata Rangi’s Tasting Room began in 2018, and like Nga Waka, opened in November 2022.

The room, a low-rise timber space nestled between vines, overlooks the dramatic Tararua Range from its vineyard on Puruatanga Rd.

Jury convenor Karl Wipatene of a.k.a Architecture said the panel of judges were impressed by the problem-solving displayed by the architects across the 32 winning designs.

“Each of these projects had challenges with the brief, planning rules, budget, and other considerations, and we saw innovative and creative ways of overcoming those challenges in the finished projects.

“It reminded the jury that, actually, architects are problem solvers, and that design challenges provide opportunities as well.”

Other iconic buildings to receive awards include the St James Theatre refurbishment by Shand Shelton in the heritage category and the renovation of the 19th century Wesley Church in Te Aro for architecture+.

Mary Argue
Mary Argue
Mary Argue is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with an interest in justice and the region’s emergency services, regularly covering Masterton District Court, Fire and Emergency and Police.

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