Here Awards 2021

The deadline for entries approaches – here is a bit of information about our categories.

Here Awards 2021

The deadline for entries approaches – here is a bit of information about our categories.

Entries to the Here Awards close on Wednesday 7 July – we’ve already received some excellent projects, and are looking forward to choosing our shortlist for judging later that month. 

The awards are progressive and joyful, clear-eyed and fun. We’re less interested in size or budget, more interested in whether a house is compelling and interesting, and whether it answers questions about what it means to live here in Aotearoa, now and into the future. We love luxury and humility in equal measure.

Our categories reflect that kaupapa, and all category winners are eligible for our supreme award, Best House Aotearoa 2021. 

Best House Aotearoa 2021

The supreme winner will capture a moment in architecture and society – as a result, it will have a point of view. It might be challenging; not everyone will like it. In a few years, we’ll look back and understand it implicitly.

New House 

The New House award celebrates new houses in all their glory around New Zealand. From small to luxurious, the award prioritises novel design, purity of form and clear, though not subservient, responses to site and brief. We are looking for houses that make our cities and landscapes better – houses with spirit and a sense of place. 

Reuse and Renovation 

The twin challenges of climate change and growing cities demand that we make the best possible use of buildings and houses that already exist. The Reuse and Renovation category celebrates clever, innovative thinking and sensitive design. We’re looking for houses that turn constraints into virtues – and have a little fun at the same time.

Apartment or Townhouse 

As our cities grow, living more densely is becoming the norm. The apartment or townhouse category recognises the changing environments in which we live. From a perfectly executed new-build to the refit of a dated building, the apartment or townhouse category recognises that small doesn’t mean compromised. 

Colour, Craft and Detail 

A continuing strength of architecture in Aotearoa is the focus on detail and craft, in a variety of materials. In recent years, we’ve been excited to see architects re-engaging with colour, too, after a decade or two of more muted tones. The Colour, Craft & Detail category encourages expression of materials and personality – it is dedicated to the sheer joy of built expression.


Once an unsavoury word in architecture – surely the building does the work? – the importance of interiors, as a piece with the architecture, cannot be overstated. This category is less about curtains and tiles, and more about complete environments. 

Small Project 

Less than a house but more than a piece of furniture, this award celebrates clever, small interventions that carry a big impact. It could be a shed, a pool house, a kitchen or an outdoor area, but it will have clarity and purity of design, and maybe even a sense of whimsy.



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