Special Award

This award may be given at the discretion of the judges for a specific outstanding project or element of a project that they feel is worthy of recognition.
H T M L Code
Special Award

Project: Te Manawa Atawhai Catherine McAuley Centre


Higgs Construction Ltd

Project Partners

Hamish Shaw Architects (Architect/Designer), Higgs Construction (Construction Company), Lewis and Barrow (Civil Engineer), Marshall Day (Acoustics), Olsson Fire & Risk (Fire Engineer), Rough & Milne (Landscape Architects), The Project Office (Project Manager), TM Consultants (Structural / Mechanical / Electrical Engineer)

Owned By

McAuley Trust

The geometries and curvatures of Te Manawa Atawhai Catherine McAuley Centre, purpose-designed for the Sisters of Mercy, speak of the many layers of religious and bicultural symbolism. The draping shawl and the ancient Greek Symbol of the Ichthys and the Christian Fish, were used as strong design motifs when designing this chapel. The shape seen in the dramatic curvature of the roof and the Corten Steel walls represents the industrial context of Christchurch. This was a challenging build met by the expertise of the construction team.

Judges comments

Te Manawa Atawhai Catherine McAuley Centre is a spectacular building which has captured the rich history of the Sisters of Mercy and their historical relationship with the West Coast.

It has a bespoke design, centred upon the internal sacred garden designed to symbolise the Jesus Fish. Judges were impressed with the many interesting features and locally sourced materials, including the incorporation of West Coast Greenstone.

The construction process was seamless thanks to the construction of complex curved foundations. The intricate detailing of both external cladding and internal finishes has been undertaken to the highest standard. The project team ensured that the acoustic performance of the hall for both speech and music was not compromised.

The facility will stand forever as a monument to those that have been involved with the college, both in the past and the future. It is an exceptional example of a successful collaborative construction process.