Regional | Airport

Airport terminal design wins gold award for Taranaki hapū and project team

Photo / Mark Scowen

New Plymouth Airport’s new Te Hono terminal, which Taranaki's Puketapu hapū played a key role in the design of, has won gold at NZ's prestigious design awards in Auckland last night.

The terminal built on Puketapu ancestral land won gold in the Toitanga category at the Designers Institute of New Zealand annual Best Design Awards which are the biggest of their kind in Australasia.

The project saw the hapū collaborate with design consultants Beca and builders Clelands to ensure their cultural heritage was reflected in the build.

Photo / Best Design Awards

Te Hono was recognised for its Māori storytelling and artistic expression and how that is infused into a resulting design through collaboration between designers, culture and environment.

"Te Hono embraces tangata whenua expertise and narratives and weaves these throughout every aspect of the airport terminal, an impressive feat for an architectural job of this scale. The diverse range of artworks create a rich and engaging experience for all travellers," the judges said in their comments.

The terminal was also a finalist in another category at the awards, for Spatial Design Communication, reflecting how the project uses its allocated space to acknowledge the tools, processes and efforts required to bring the project to fruition.

Photo / Best Design Awards

Last month, Te Hono was a finalist at the NZ Building Industry Awards.  At the time, Puketapu spokesperson Rangi Kipa said the project enabled the hapū to be visible on their ancestral lands again.

“The design and construction of the terminal acknowledges our troubled social and political past by speaking aspirationally into the future. It integrates and reflects our unique Taranaki identity.”

Photo / Best Design Awards

The cultural significance of the hapū’s contribution toward the project is explained in a film commissioned by the airport.