While New Zealand architects are winning acclaim all over the world, our next generation of designers are proving themselves on a global stage. The University of Auckland recently announced six new masters degrees for Auckland architecture students, and now the capital city is getting involved.

Never one to be outshone, four students at the Wellington University School of Architecture have been nominated for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a home on the eastern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Seb Maher, Lydia Hamer, Tyler Harlen and Stephen Yiavasis are working closely with the Nka Foundation, and proving their talents on an international stage.

The pupils, who go by the name Shift Design, were praised for their innovative thinking as they used a rammed-earth technique to design their home. The design brief called for maximum use of natural resources as well as local labour to complete the challenge.

By focusing on rammed-earth architectural design, the nominated blueprint will show that sustainable building can be used effectively and safely across different parts of the world. Considering it's not a common practice in New Zealand, the nomination really shows the versatility and creativity in our budding architects and architectural designers.

They will now await the results as to which winning team will have their design built in north-east Tanzania come April 2016.

A winning plan for parliament
The four students will hope to follow in the footsteps of another budding architect, Victoria University of Wellington Architecture masters student Ben Allnatt, who has won a separate competition.

Ben's plan for a disaster-recovery building for parliament was warmly received at the International Architecture Thesis Awards. The university announced in September that the initiative, titled 'Plan B Hive: An outpost in the Hinterland', has picked up the award in the category of "Institution".

A permanent building would be established on the outskirts of Wellington in the hills of Kapiti to protect it from floods and debris should an earthquake the magnitude of Christchurch 2011 happen again. It would then function as a research centre and temporary parliament should a similar earthquake hit New Zealand.

Speaking of his success, Ben said it was the level of teaching and support that has helped him, particularly from senior lecturer Sam Kebbell.

"Throughout my five years of study at Victoria University, the consistent support I have had from my passionate lecturers and tutors has played a huge role in shaping me as a young architect," Ben explained.

With talent like this coming through the pipeline, it's no wonder the future is looking bright for architects in New Zealand.