HomeGround apartments for homeless takes top accolade at Property Industry Awards 

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Steve Gracey


Steve Gracey


Awards , Projects
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HomeGround, the complex designed to give homeless people a hand up, won hands down at this year’s Property Council New Zealand / Rider LevettBucknall Property Industry Awards.

Owned and developed by Auckland City Mission, the 12,000sqm, 11-storey multi-purpose development was named the Best in Category and awarded Excellence in the Kāinga Ora Community and Affordable Housingcategory, and Excellence in the Resene Green Building Property category before going on to take the Rider Levett Bucknall Supreme Award.

These awards have a broad and robust judging criteria that make them truly unique, with nominees assessed for how the development tracked against financial estimates, owner and user satisfaction, as well as its design, construction and sustainability. 

There were 83 entries for 69 developments vying for the top accolade, culminating in New Zealand’s largest gala dinner with more than 1,500 guests hosted at Auckland’s Spark Arena.

In choosing HomeGround, the judges applauded how it delivered on the needs of multi-purpose users, and they said that while it is hard to integrate mixed-use, the result was exceptional. 

It is New Zealand’s first model of single-site supportive housing for people needing housing, food and low-cost medical services. Stevens Lawson Architects was commissioned to design a building that treats users with respect and dignity and welcomes all Aucklanders. 

Constructed by Built Environs, the property includes 80 permanent apartments with wraparound services and facilities including a medical centre, withdrawal facilities, educational and training facilities, meal provision and community spaces for the public. 

Property Council chief executive Leonie Freeman described it as “a genuine example of how a building can be not only a roof over our head, but a safe haven for those in need”.

Wellington’s shared space, The Generator, took out two Excellence and Best in Category Awards – the RCP Commercial Office Property Award and the Naylor Love Heritage and Adaptive Reuses Award. It was also given a Merit in the RCP Commercial Office Property Award category. Celebrating the reuse and repurposing of the existing building was the fundamental ambition of the design, the judges said. It sets a new standard in shared workspace solutions with a targeted 5-Star Greenstar rating and 5-Star NABERSNZ rating. 

RLB Principal Bevan Hartley said the redevelopment of the iconic building dating back to 1927 was “a home to the sort of infrastructure, design and amenity usually only found in a big corporate, setting a new standard for flexible office space in which to supercharge smart Wellington SMEs.”

Also winning two Excellence and Best in Category Awards was Profile Group’s Hautapu HQ in Cambridge, winning both the Resene Green Building Award and CBRE Industrial Property Award. The project also received a Merit in the RCP Commercial Office Property Award category. The judges noted that the commitment to deliver on Appropriate Holding’s pledge to sustainability was evident from the design stage through to construction and ongoing operation. The project team worked together to influence every part of the supply chain and think differently for the benefit of the environment, community, employees, and future economic benefit.

Hellmann in Auckland was recognised for excellence within the CBRE Industrial Property Award. RLB Director Josh Tattley said the development goes above and beyond to dispel the myth that warehouses are considered simple and understated buildings. “With 4 Green Star credentials, and a captivating office façade, the project was delivered on time and under budget via a collaborative procurement approach with trusted partners.”

Redeveloping what was once a single dwelling property into a five-storey building with 32 apartments culminated in Modal in Mt Albert, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, winning Excellence and Best in Category in the Templeton Multi Unit Residential Property Award category. Modal is contained on a 719sqm site with nine 2-bedroom apartments and 23 one-bedroom apartments.

Christchurch’s new Convention Centre, Te Pae, boasting 28,000sqm of floor area, a 1,400-seat tiered auditorium, a 2,800sqm exhibition space, a 1,800-seat banquet space as well as state-of-the-art audio visual, ICT, and rigging provisions was the Warren and Mahoney Civic, Health & Arts Property Award winner. 

The Holmes Tourism and Leisure Property Award went to the Cordis Hotel’s new 17-storey landmark Pinnacle Tower giving the Auckland property an additional 244 guest rooms. RLB Director Richard Anderson said We know consumers crave unique local experiences and dynamic destinations – the secret is to create memorable places for people to escape to from daily life. The exemplar hotel spaces Cordis has created offer new opportunities, new experiences, and luxury comfort.” 

Mixed-use commercial building The Rise in Titirangi Village, Auckland, won the Yardi Retail Property Award.

Other winning projects included Christchurch’s TeAratai College (formerly known as Linwood College), that won the Greenstone Group Education Property Award. The high school campus features an impressive Creativity and Innovation Block to house a wide variety of science, technology and arts-focused teaching spaces, catering to both in-house students and surrounding primary and intermediate schools, in lieu of facilities they don’t have.

Paerata in Auckland was recognised for excellence within the Greenstone Group Education Property Award. RLB Director Chris Haines said the new teaching spaces are flexible and innovative. “The school facilities allow for heightened connectivity and practical use within the community. A whole-of-life approach was embraced by the hardworking and collaborative consultant teams, with great outcomes for the wide range of stakeholders. 

Freeman acknowledged the nominees’ tenacity, with many of the projects being delivered throughout a period of lockdowns and economic uncertainty. 

“These awards showcase what can happen when you marry courageous vision with the can-do attitude of passionate people. The result is not only remarkable buildings but properties, precincts and cities that have a positive impact on our communities.”

Meet our 2022 Winners

Download our 2022 RLB Project Showcase

Celebrating 25 years of sponsorship

When Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) commenced its support of the Property Industry Awards in 1997, many of the buildings that now shape our skylines, bring life to our cities and energy to local economies were still distant dreams or sketches on the drawing board. 

Since then, the Property Council New Zealand has continued to recognise and reward excellence. RLB has been the proud sponsor and supporter of the awards program for each of these 25 years.