St Martin’s wins NZIA Canterbury Public Architecture Award
St Martin’s Community Centre, designed by Plus Architecture, has been awarded the 2017 NZIA Canterbury Public Architecture Award.
The theme of rebuilding Christchurch ran through many of the projects awarded, and the judges praised the St Martin’s Community Centre for its “richness and texture”, a result of the building’s gabled forms and the recycled bricks “that run through the building, linking interior spaces with private courtyard spaces”.
Featuring low slung, gabled roofing, rich wooden floorboards and a warm patchwork brick interior and exterior the St Martin’s Community Centre is designed to be a home for it’s users, featuring meeting spaces, a community library, and private courtyards.
Using recycled bricks taken from homes in the area damaged during the earthquakes, Plus designed a varied patchwork of interior and exterior brickwork, using innovative construction techniques, such as high strength mortar and a bespoke bed joint reinforcement system, to ensure the structural integrity of the building.
“One of the amazing things to come out of the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes is the sense of community, hope and pride in itself that this city has,” says Plus Architecture New Zealand Director Jaimin Atkins.
“We tried to pay homage to that in the design of the building, by providing for both programmed and unprogrammed use. Seats and gathering areas created around the building allow the community at large the freedom to interpret the space and how they use it. In this respect it is truly egalitarian.”
“It’s a project we’re very proud of, and it’s an honour to have it recognised by the NZIA.”