“What’s the best building you’ve been to? Describe it, and say why you like it.”
Does this question spark any ideas in your mind?
If so, you might like to enter the 2018 Warren Trust Awards for Architectural Writing. This year’s entries are asked to respond to the above question, and winners in the open category will receive a cash prize of $2,000. The annual writing competition is organised by the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) with the support of the Warren Trust.
If you’re keen to read some of the winning and highly commended entries for the past few years, the library has copies of the collections from the 2015, 2016, and 2017 competitions, including writing from former students of the School of Architecture and Planning. The brief for last year’s competition was to “create a piece of writing about a building or architectural site, of any scale” and explore its personal significance. Winning and highly commended essays crossed the spectrum from the local to the international, and from intimate domestic spaces to vast cityscapes, each anchored to the writers’ memories and emotions.
If you need more inspiration to encourage your awareness of language, place, and space, have a look at the Our City books, a series of volumes of literature centred on each of New Zealand’s major cities: Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin. Each place is explored and reimagined through short stories, poems, and extracts of novels and memoirs by some of New Zealand’s finest writers. For writing on New Zealand architecture, check out New dreamland: writing New Zealand architecture, edited by Douglas Lloyd-Jenkins, which contains essays that explore the shaping of architecture in New Zealand over the course of a century.
Entries for the awards close on 10 September 2018. See the NZIA news item for more about the competition and how to enter.
Lynette Leong, Architecture and Planning Library