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Gisborne airport's new terminal recognised in Architecture Awards

AWARD WINNING: Gisborne Airport was named one of the winners of the Public Architecture category of the New Zealand Architecture Awards. Judges said the building reflected the uniqueness of Tairāwhiti. Picture by Andy Spain

THE authenticity and sustainability of Gisborne Airport’s new terminal has been recognised in the 2021 New Zealand Architecture Awards.

Gisborne Airport was named one of three winners of the Public Architecture category of the awards.

A panel of four architects selected the airport designed by Tennent Brown Architects and Architects 44 for their sustainable and multicultural building that “provides a fitting gateway to Tairāwhiti.”

Tennent Brown director Ewan Brown said it was an honour to work alongside Rongowhakaata, Ngai Tāwhiri, Eastland Group and Architects 44, as well as artists such as Sir Derek Lardelli and Karl Johnstone.

The win was a testament to that collaboration, he said.

“Working on this project alongside mana whenua and the people of Tairāwhiti to create a building that has sustainability at its core has been an incredible journey,” the architect said.

Thelma Karaitiana, of Ngai Tāwhiri, said they were delighted with the award.

“The interpretation and reflection of Te Tairāwhiti throughout the design of Gisborne Airport is worthy of such recognition.”

Juding panel jury convener and architect Sharon Jansen described it as “a well-functioning regional airport with a grounded sense of belonging”

The jury was impressed by the building’s form, which suggests both a whare and a waka, and by its “rich interior that embodies a sense of wellbeing and comfort.

Architects 44 director Daniel King said it was great to be able to work on the airport and help bring a “uniquely Tairāwhiti building” to life.

“I think everyone is really proud of it,” Mr King said.

Trust Tairāwhiti gave its single largest distribution towards the facility —$5 million.

Trust Tairāwhiti chair John Clarke said the local artists’ work and creative direction brought the terminal to life.

“The airport is authentically Tairāwhiti, and a place we can all be proud of.”