First real project wins
JUNO Huang and Wendy Zheng’s first ‘‘real’’ architecture project is going to be made into a reality.
The 23 and 22-year-old graduates have taken out a student competition run by the Rangimarie Trust to design a new model of accommodation for elderly people in Opotiki, in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.
And they were up against some tough competition, including masters’ students at the University of Auckland.
Central city resident Huang says the win was a real surprise.
The partners only had a couple of days to come up with the concept around hours of study and work and built the model in just one night, she says.
‘‘It’s a real project – it’s actually going to be built. It’s really a chance for us to get insight into the career.
‘‘This competition is the first real project we did related to the building code. We used to do design work without considering other things like that, with no boundaries.’’
Zheng wants to go to Opotiki to watch the construction process. It is exciting to see the plans come to life, she says.
‘‘It will be wonderful, fantastic.
‘‘From a young age I loved drawing and designing things. I loved creating my own stuff when I was young and, for the future, architecture is quite a good career for me.’’
The Rangimarie Trust was established in 1979 to provide low-cost rental accommodation for elderly people.
It owns a block of land with 12 units in Opotiki and has recently purchased more land for development.
The trust approached University of Auckland senior lecturer Bill McKay to coordinate a competition with his architecture students to fill the new site.
The brief included specific needs such as access ramps, solar heating, raised floors to prevent flooding, wider doors for wheelchairs and a maximum budget of $90,000 per unit.
McKay says Zheng and Huang’s designs were exactly what the trust was looking for.
‘‘It was gratifying to see young undergraduates come up with such a good design.
‘‘Apart from nailing the requirements of the brief, they also produced a design sensitive to the church next door that will add to the townscape values of Opotiki by creating a nice little community precinct.’’
The Rangimarie Trust
is now looking for funding to help achieve the next stage of the project.
Top team: Juno Huang and Wendy Zheng in front of their housing design model for Opotiki, in the Bay of Plenty.