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ASB Bank & Jasmax Architects Win Major Award

Published: Wed 6 Nov 2002 02:37 PM
ASB Bank & Jasmax Architects Win Major U.S Architectural Award
New Zealand is leading world standards and practices in architecture with the country’s first win at a prestigious Architectural Awards, the Business Week/Architectural Record Awards, in the United States.
The winning project, ASB Bank’s Development Centre in Albany, Auckland, was a joint submission by ASB Bank, Jasmax Architects and Dominion Funds, the building owners.
The project won the “Good Design is Good Business” category, which takes into account the impact the building’s design has had on improving the business performance of the organisation it houses. The awards, supported by the American Institute of Architects, are one of only a handful worldwide that accepts entries from outside their own country.
ASB Bank Managing Director, Hugh Burrett, said to win an award of this calibre demonstrates a clear, committed working relationship between client and architect.
“The Award judges not only looked at pure architecture of the building, it assessed the impact the design of the building had on the performance of our staff. We were able to demonstrate that the building’s design has allowed for better communication with an increase in project output, a decrease in staff turnover, and a significant drop in internal emails. The design has got people talking, which is vital to a creative environment, and this great news has got them talking even more.”
The Jasmax Architect behind this project, Hamish Boyd, says entering Awards of this size initially made them hesitate. “The cost of entering the Awards in US dollars was significant, but we took a punt because we thought the project was worth it. The competition was tough, with 164 entries from around the world. From these, 18 were selected as finalists, with only 11 projects identified as the winners. We are absolutely delighted to be recognised with the best in the world.”
Award judges were made up of a 10-person jury of prominent architects and business leaders. A jury member flew to New Zealand earlier this year to view the building and meet with both ASB Bank and Jasmax.
Hamish Boyd says the project which won the Award, presented by the President of the American Institute of Architects, was the only Southern Hemisphere recipient.
“ASB Bank wanted a space that would support their own organisational and cultural change objectives. To do that, we developed a concept that stripped away walls and spatial divides, to create a space that talks freely about communication and processes.
“Their staff need to think laterally, in unorthodox ways, and often work unorthodox times. We delivered surroundings that stimulate the thought process and creativity of their product development staff, now they have staff lining up to work there.”
Building owners, Dominion Funds says this is the latest in a string of awards the ASB Bank Product Development Centre has received to date, including the New Zealand Institute of Builders Innovation Award and the EECA Energy Award.
“This latest award puts this building on the world stage. It is a major trophy property for the Dominion Funds Group, and the jewel in the crown of our portfolio,” says Managing Director, Richard Lynch.
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