Art & Architecture + [New Zeland]

57 Victoria St W, Auckland, 1010, Nuova Zelanda: Auckland Art Gallery by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp
Auckland Art Gallery by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

“This project is not just about creating more dynamic and flexible spaces for art, it is about programming those spaces in ways that will ultimately expand the audience for art..“ Chris Saines, Gallery Director.

Auckland Art Gallery by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

“Fjmt in association with Archimedia were awarded this important project following an international design competition.

The culturally significant project will provide an urban focus, diverse cultural experience and create a unique opportunity to reveal and interpret the history of the site and to revitalise an important part of the city.

Auckland Art Gallery by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

Relating as much to the organic forms of the landscape as it does to the architectural order and character of the noteworthy heritage buildings, the gallery is characterised by a series of fine ‘tree-like’ canopies creating a memorable image and character referencing the beautiful overhanging tree canopy of adjacent Albert Park.

Auckland Art Gallery by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

The project incorporates contemporary and heritage buildings, new entry forecourt, flexible atrium/function space and new and refurbished gallery areas that will double the gallery’s curatorial capacity, and an array of international state-of-the art back-of house areas.” Description of fjmt.

Auckland Art Gallery by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

The new Auckland Art Gallery has developed from a concept that relates as much to the organic natural forms of the landscape as it does from architectural order and character of the important heritage buildings.

Unusual Architecture

The new building is characterized by a series of fine ‘tree-like’ canopies that define and cover the entry forecourt, atrium and gallery areas. These light profiled forms ‘hover’ over the stone walls and terraces creating a memorable image and character closely related to the beautiful overhanging canopy of Pohutukawa Trees.

Auckland Art Gallery by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

The built canopies are made from natural timber folded into organic geometric forms and supported on slender profiled shafts. These emblematic forms will give a unique identity and image to the gallery that is inspired by the natural landscape of the site.

Auckland Art Gallery by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

While the hovering roof canopies draw on natural forms they are also closely related to the scale, proportions and detail of the architecture of the existing gallery.

Auckland Art Gallery by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

A careful study of the relative dimensions, proportions and alignments has determined the final form and positioning of the new elements to create a complement with the proud turn-of-the century architecture of the original gallery.

Auckland Art Gallery by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

Below the hovering canopies of the new gallery a great transparency is created to allow views through, into and out of the gallery circulation and display spaces into the green landscape of Albert Park.

Auckland Art Gallery by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

In this way the gallery will ‘open’ to the park and public spaces in an inviting and engaging gesture of welcome.

Auckland Art Gallery by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp
Auckland Art Gallery by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

Location: Auckland, New ZelandArchitect: fjmt, ArchimediaClient: Auckland Art GalleryYear: 2011Main contractor: Hawkins Construction LtdAward: Riba International Awards 2012

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