Wellington International Airport’s unique terminal, dubbed ‘The Rock’, has won its twelfth award to date in the Transport category at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona.
The terminal’s design, by Studio Pacific Architecture in association with Warren and Mahoney, represents a radical departure from the usual design and layout that is common to most airports worldwide.
For example, instead of using typical airport terminal imagery of lightness and flight, The Rock’s design was instead inspired by Wellington’s “craggy sea-battered coast, evoking the anchoring qualities of the land”.
The Inside World Festival of Interiors judges said: “We were impressed that the project celebrated the local heritage through symbolic design that didn't adhere to the stereotype of a typical transport building.”
The Rock has also collected 11 other architecture, design and building awards including the Commercial Architecture category at the NZIA Wellington Architecture Awards, as well as the Purple Pin Supreme Award at the Best Design Awards and winner of the Interior Fitout category at the NZ Timber Design Awards.
The judges added: “Different, without a doubt, the building dubbed 'The Rock' puts its stamp, ironically, on New Zealand's air travel landscape.
“In its defiance of analogies about the freedom and levity of flight, the building's external language is certainly unusual.
“Cavernous, introverted, and mostly slick interiors articulate a singular response to geometrical and technical challenges. A collegial project team, knitted together seamlessly from two prominent practices, has produced a distinctive Wellington gateway. This provocative intervention begs the question: What next?”