New Plymouth’s airport is in contention for an international award.
The award international award is called Unesco’s Prix Versailles and it recognises architecture that fosters a better interaction between economy and culture. It is one of the most prestigious architecture awards in the world.
New Plymouth’s airport is called Te Hono – meaning “to connect”.
The other finalists for the airport category include the New York LaGuardia upgrade, Berlin’s Brandenburg airport and international airports in Athens, Kazakhstan and the Philippines.
New Plymouth’s airport weaves a Māori story of love and longing into its architecture.
The spine of the building is oriented to represent the journey from the mountain to the river. The main terminal has silver and blue roof cascades in large stepped planes, like the feathers of a large wing, or, Tamarau coming to meet Rongo-ue-roa.
Manaakitanga – the Māori concept of hospitality – also influences the design.
The winner of the award will be named in November 2021.