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University of Auckland Graduate receives Royal Institute of British Architecture award

The House that Politics Built: Parliament Aotearoa. The Chamber

Monday December 12, 2016

Alumna Tessa Forde (Architecture & Planning) has been awarded a Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA) Dissertation Medal Commendation for her final-year thesis project The House that Politics Built: Parliament Aotearoa.

The Master of Architecture (Professional) graduate attended the prestigious awards ceremony in central London last week.

For 50 years the RIBA awards and prizes have championed and celebrated the best architecture in the UK and around the world.

Tessa’s postgraduate thesis project proposed a new parliamentary architecture located in the centre of Auckland City. Political events of the 2014 New Zealand election, and concepts from local and international political buildings, dictated the architecture of a new parliament complex – using the prioritisation of public amenity to facilitate democracy. Or that was the conceit; in reality the project deployed architecture as a satirical tool for the dissection of politics, consumerism and the media.

RIBA prizes are awarded to projects that reflect changes and innovations in architecture, but at their core display a commitment to designing and developing buildings and spaces for the improvement and enhancement of people’s lives.

“I’m delighted to see the breadth of talent from across the globe recognised through these awards, now celebrating their 180th anniversary. The students’ ability to distil complex ideas and present them beautifully is outstanding. Tonight’s winners are talent to watch – I can’t wait to see what else they will go on to achieve,” says RIBA President Jane Duncan.

Tessa, who was tutored by Senior Lecturer Kathy Waghorn and Lecturer Aaron Paterson, had previously received a Highly Commended at the 2015 New Zealand Institute of Architects Cadimage Student Design Awards for her thesis project.

The graduate, who is currently working for Bull O’Sullivan Architecture, continues to undertake small projects, and recently designed a beach hut with a colleague, Elena Lochore-Ward, for New Brighton, in Christchurch.

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