Congratulations to architect Marshall Cook, who has been awarded the NZ Institute of Architects' Gold Medal for 2010, given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the practice of architecture. You may remember Marshall's own house in Auckland's Freemans Bay as a finalist in HOME New Zealand's 2008 Home of the Year award.

His awards citation made special mention of his house designs:

"The whole body of his work is characterised by a complete and exhaustive knowledge of materials, technology, colour and space placed at the service of a liberal, generous and humane design philosophy. The result has been a series of houses of the first quality. They form memorable and delightful environments within which domestic life in all its aspects is both celebrated and nourished. These houses represent high-water marks of contemporary New Zealand domestic architecture which will continue to be valued and studied by their future inhabitants and by architects."

These photographs of Marshall's own home in Freemans Bay were taken by Patrick Reynolds. This shot shows the confident mixing of materials - terracotta tiles, marble, timber fins - facing the street.

Inside, the house centres around an exceptionally comfortable kitchen and dining area that opens onto a small courtyard. This whole area feels remarkably spacious, especially when you consider that the home has been designed for a relatively compact inner-city site.

At the end of this bright, open space is much more snug and secluded living room. The stairs at the rear of this shot lead to Marshall and Prue's bedroom. All of it feels deceptively casual, but as with all apparently effortless structures, a great deal of consideration has gone into the creation of each of these spaces.