Two Church schools in Christchurch win architects’ awards


Two Church schools were among the buildings recognised at the Canterbury Architecture Awards last week.

Catherine McAuley Centre at Villa Maria College received an award in the public architecture category.

The jury noted of this project, “The building’s pleated corten cladding references the memory of Catherine McAuley and her protective shawl and provides an exterior that changes in colour and depth, giving a strong sculptural presence to the building.

“A sanctuary garden at the centre of the building creates an outdoor space within the interior that is the focus of a new kind of contemplation and prayer, rich in symbolism and informed by the bi-cultural teaching history of the Sisters.”

Cathedral Grammar Junior School received an award in the education category.

The judges commended the architects for the “immense patience and diligence coupled with serious architectural skill” needed to complete this project.

They noted, “Any building that allows children to play on its roof is a winner.

“Proportion and composition have been impeccably resolved to a high level of accuracy; structure and spaces are in full harmony.

“Students at this school have a close relationship with their teachers and seem to thrive. Colour, texture and even the smell of the timbers are all inspirational.”

The awards were part of the peer-reviewed New Zealand Architecture Awards Programme run by the NZ Institute of Archi­tects.

There were 34 winners, from seven categories chosen by a jury of five architects.


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