Architectural Design Award for Tanatana Marae in Waimana

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Tanatana Marae in Waimana has won the commercial/industrial architectural design section award. The award is based on Ngāti Rere's new building which cost $300,000. 

This project is about incorporating traditional ideas with a contemporary twist.

Marae committee representative Martin Rakuraku told Te Kāea they wanted to move with the times, “We thought we would incorporate a house to cater to two purposes; a place to mourn and a museum.”

A project that cost over $120,000 from the marae, as well as lottery grants. Their vision was brought to life through APA architects.

Aladina Harunani from APA architects says, “My first word was to them, would you want something nice, would you want something that would celebrate your culture your values and then the quick answer was, 'yeah that would be great' they were only after a sleeping space for their loved one's family and just for photographer but here we were talking about something that would actually look unique.”

The design recently won the regional ADNZ awards held over the weekend. However, Rakuraku says the intention wasn't to claim recognition for their work.

“We just wanted a proper house to mourn the deceased. At the end of the project, Aladina asked whether we'd consider showcasing their work to the world. We agreed but didn't think it would result in a winning award.”

The judges mentioned that the design courageously accepts the challenges presented by the mourning the deceased and marae protocols.

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