Facilities  |  15 Jul 2022

Kohinga St Albans Community Centre has won a coveted local architecture award and is now in the running for national honours.

The much-loved facility was the winner of a New Zealand Institute of Architects Canterbury Architecture Award in the Public Architecture category.

Judges praised the warmth and beauty created through the use of wood, the careful placement of multi-purpose spaces, light-filled gallery and environmentally sustainable features.

Since opening last April, the striking 400 square metre building has been managed by the St Albans Residents’ Association. It includes a large hall and several meeting rooms, a kitchen and an office.

Association Chairman Jason Harvey said hearing about the award was great.  

“It just confirms the feedback that we receive - people love the atmosphere of Kohinga, the generous spaces, the light and the interior timber finishing,” he says.

“It is quite awesome to see so many different groups using the facilities and enjoying the experience they have here. Public spaces like this are important to foster a sense of belonging. People come together to learn, work, exercise, relax, garden, share their culture and help others.

The success of the building can be attributed to strong partnerships with groups who know their community,  Christchurch City Council Community Facilities Specialist Paul McKeefry says. 

“The final floor plan was developed by a working party made up of Waipapa/Papanui-Innes Community Board members and representatives from groups including the St Albans Residents’ Association, Edgeware Business Association and St Albans School.

“It shows that when people work together they can achieve something special that will continue to be well-used and valued for many years to come.”

The New Zealand Architecture Awards jury will meet next month to shortlist projects for the national awards.