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Home and Building, Volume 37 Number 6 (1975)


The Tourist Design Awards were introduced by the Ministry of Tourism with a view to encouraging meritorious design of hotels, motels and accommodation houses, the restoration and especially the regeneration of buildings of historic or tourist interest, landscape protection and design as well as fostering the design of souvenir shops, tourist attractions and transport facilities. It was hoped that the awards would not only aim at functional and aesthetically pleasing aspects but also assess the character and atmosphere of the designs.

Awards to an attractive and varied range of well-designed tourist facilities throughout New Zealand were made by the then Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Mrs T.W.M. Tirikatene-Sullivan, at a special function in Parliament Buildings at 6.00 p.m. on Tuesday, 7 October.

Awards were made on the recommendation of a selection panel including three professional architects and a landscape architect who judged the 31 entries received.

Commemorative wall plaques were presented to six design award winners and commendations for meritorious design to a further six projects.

The Chairman of the Selection Panel, Martin Hill, in his speech said:

"The magnificent New Zealand page 45 landscape is one of our major tourist attractions and it is important that everything we do is carefully and sympathetically handled in relation to it. It is not adequate any longer to build an expedient answer to a problem without considering the essential character of what is already there.

It is unfortunate that our brand of universality is likely to make Picton look like Rotorua, or for that matter any other small town. The Tourist expects to see something unique and in keeping with the part of the country he is in, and not something he can find at home.

In this award the standard of designs submitted was high. They came in under the following categories:—

(a)Accommodation; hotels and motels
(b)Restoration of buildings of historic and tourist interest
(c)Protection of the landscape or landscape design in tourist areas
(d)Tourist facilities such as shops, transport centres or other tourist attractions.

This latter category contained a large number of submission.

The panel looked for buildings that worked well and were comfortable to be in, but also ones that had excitement and did that something to enlarge the experience. It was also page 46 important that they fitted in with their surroundings and that their scale was human and inviting rather than monumental.

The restoration of old buildings had come fully into the sphere of tourist interest and the panel was pleased to see the care and attention given by the Historic Places Trust and others in this field. Our forefathers' buildings document many of their aspirations but we continue to destroy them and it is a great shame that the Historic Places Trust is so underfounded, when such large numbers of buildings need their attention.

Next year, it is my pet hopes that perhaps we may see in the awards, hotels harnessing sun and wind for heating purposes. Perhaps using waste heat from showers and baths to preheat the next one and maybe hotels growing some of their own food.

Finally the panel would like to thank the minister for this great encouragement to designers to play a part in the improvement of New Zealand's surroundings."

[By courtesy
November 1975