DCA Pushing The Envelope

DCA is delighted to announce that three of our projects have been regional winners in the 2024 Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects Awards. The winning projects were: Te Rito O Manaaki Ora in the commercial category and The Chodge in the housing category for the Waikato / Bay of Plenty region. Heretaunga Intermediate School was a winner for the education category in the Gisborne / Hawke’s Bay reigional awards.


Te Rito O Manaaki Ora is viewed as a groundbreaking building inspired by the journey of Te Arawa that houses counselling services. Jury convenor, architect Matt Grant says that the judges were impressed by the presence of te ao Māori in projects in many categories including Te Rito O Manaaki Ora amongst the winning projects that have been imbued with a deep sense of Māori culture and design.

“From simple fit-outs to major commercial work, it’s clear that in our region, iwi consultation is taken very seriously and Māori-influenced architecture is thriving,” says Grant.

The Chodge, was described by the jury as being

“Reminiscent of a woolshed, opening up to the landscape through translucent fire-station doors and a verandah. Within the outer shell is an extruded timber living container designed to Passive Haus principles, cave-like and in stark contrast to the external structure. Essentially a house within a house. The interior joinery, furnishing and palette are well considered and contemporary, with the warmth of waxed-oak veneer creating a relaxed, sophisticated aesthetic. The result is an architectural delight, a triumph of technology, simplicity and pushing the envelope on planning and building rules.”

With DCA’s innovation in transforming learning environments, we were thrilled to receive the following response from the jury for Hastings Heretaunga Intermediate School’s technology block:

An “ingenious fusion of functionality and aesthetics. The design considers the environment as an extension of the learning space, facilitating interdisciplinary connections in science, woodworking, music, art, and culinary arts.”

A big thank you to the teams involved in bringing these transformational projects to life!