Sir Howard Morrison Centre

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2023 Waikato & Bay of Plenty Architecture Awards Winner

Sir Howard Morrison Centre (Shand Shelton and First Light Studio) won in the Public Architecture category.

The thoughtful refurbishment and seismic strengthening of the Sir Howard Morrison Centre in Rotorua is among the winners at an event celebrating the best of the Bay of Plenty and Waikato’s architecture.

The Sir Howard Morrison Centre is a cultural hub, the puumanwatanga (beating heart) where Māori and Pakeha culture, manaakitanga and toi whakaari are woven together. The original Municipal Building (1938), with Spanish Mission influences, served as the Civic Centre was converted into a Convention Centre in 1995. It became a performing arts venue in 2014, then closed to the public in 2017 for earthquake strengthening and refurbishing.

The brief required a focus on venue flexibility, heritage of the building and Ngāti Whakaue, and Sir Howard Morrison's legacy. The solution involved peeling back the 1995 addition, revealing the original heritage wings, and inserting a standalone foyer structure enriched with Te Arawa/Ngāti Whakaue design ideologies. A challenging collaborative project, meticulously considered and masterfully crafted.

Full list of winners here.

Published 15 Jun 2023