Director, Jo Aitken, was the Project Architect and main personnel for this project, spending four years working with Patterson Associates, from the inception of the design through to construction.
The 2015 New Zealand Architecture Awards were held last week. The New Zealand China Concept Store in Shanghai, shown above, won the 'International' category. Jo Aitken worked closely with Andrew Patterson for Patterson Associates on the design of this project. (All photos above taken by Jo Aitken). Click link below to read more about the awards and see winners from other categories.
The moment of truth had finally arrived, after a few thousand hours and a hundred or so trips back and forth to New Plymouth for Jo, Director of Atelier Aitken. She headed down to the opening of the Govett Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre to see it completed and open to the public.
On returning home from Paris, where Jo had been working with International architect, Jean Nouvel, Jo was hired independently to work with Patterson Associates, on this unique project for the New Plymouth District Council. Jo and Andrew worked closely on this project from the Brief Consultation and Design Phases through to the Construction Phase. Faced with a brilliant once in a lifetime project brief, developed by the Gallery and Len Lye Foundation, along with plenty of local opposition and a tight budget, this ambitious project was an intense journey that was both challenging and exhilarating. The success of this project was aided by the talent of some of New Zealand's leading building experts including Services Engineers - E-Cubed, Acoustic Engineers - Marshall Day, Facade Engineers - Mott Macdonald, Structural and Fire Engineers - Holmes Consulting and Quantity Surveyors - Rider Levitt Bucknall. The local contractors, Clelands and their subcontractors, particularly Emmetts (Concrete) and Rivet (Stainless steel) all put in an amazing effort to pull everything together - and wow, what a brilliant result. Thank you!
Click on the photograph below for a link to the 'Black Magazine Online' article which includes several other stunning photographs by Patrick Reynolds or keep scrolling for more photos.
The new gallery was a hit with the kids providing endless opportunities of fascination with its undulating mirrored facade, ramps and numerous cavernous spaces.
Very exciting to see the completed Govett Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre, with the hoardings taken down in time for the opening next week!
Thanks again to everyone who voted to help keep this project alive back in February 2013!
(Jo Aitken, Project Architect, worked closely on this project with Andrew Patterson of Patterson Associates.)
Jo Aitken recently visited and photographed this project, located in Shanghai, on which she worked closely on the design with Patterson Associates Ltd. The purpose of this project is to promote and sell New Zealand food and wine in the Chinese market.
The much anticipated day, since we first started working on the project with Patterson Associates over four years ago, has finally arrived with the reveal of the stainless steel facade inspired by Len Lye's work. The Len Lye Centre will be New Zealand's first art museum dedicated to a single artist and also the country's first example of destination architecture linked to contemporary art, due to open on 25 July 2015.
Jo Aitken came on board to work closely with Andrew Patterson on the design and delivery of this exciting project, from conception to construction, after returning to New Zealand from France, where she had been working with leading French architect, Jean Nouvel.
The Len Lye Centre, operating in partnership with the existing Govett Brewster Art Gallery, will create powerful and memorable experiences generated by the art and ideas of Len Lye. A visionary New Zealander, Lye’s work has enthralled audiences throughout the world since early last century. The Len Lye Centre will offer permanent access in an exceptional home that honours the artist, his Collection and Archive and its value for New Zealanders and global visitors. It is located on corner of Queen St and Devon St in New Plymouth, New Zealand
We worked with facade engineers, Mott Macdonald, to extensively test the facade design. When working with stainless steel, particularly so close to the sea, there is always the challenge of managing corrosion mitigation versus glare mitigation. Each panel is slightly curved to dissipate the rays of the sun.
In contrast to many metal clad buildings around the world that are strongly panelised, we were after a more 'monolithic' and sophisticated appearance. We wanted full height 14m high stainless steel panels with no horizontal joints, but it was impossible to get any one person or company in the supply and fabrication chain to agree to this task. We instead broke it down into manageable panel sizes and set about figuring out a detail to trick the eye. We ended up with an almost invisible horizontal butt joint and an oversized vertical joint to achieve the visual affect we were after.
The image above shows us at Rivet's factory, with the owner Steve Scott, checking out the stainless steel prototype panels prior to fabrication. It was decided that the flat panels, shown on the right, needed a slight curve to dissipate the heat and reflections.
Following an intensive process of consultation, that Jo and Andrew carried out together, the initial design process started off with an in-house design competition. Jo proposed a building, wrapped with a curtain of full height stainless steel panels, inspired from Len Lye's stainless steel kinetic art works, particularly Blade, shown above and the idea of creating a 'Theatre gallery', where Len's works would 'perform'. These steel panels would undulate dynamically to create openings, so that the entry to the gallery could change location depending on the exhibits. Len had a desire to make his works bigger and bigger and so this would offer a good opportunity to create a large scale, poetic homage to him that hopefully he would have enjoyed. Led by Andrew Patterson, the building design went through a long but enjoyable process of development into the design that is now built.
Jo worked closely with the Structural engineers, Holmes Consulting and Precasters, Emmetts, on the design and fabrication of these stunning concrete panels. Although they have now been covered in stainless steel on the exterior, they will still be visible from the interior.
Jo Aitken and Andrew Mitchell inspecting the concrete panel moulds, for the monolithic approx. 15m tall by 3.5m wide panels, prior to the first pour.
The design brief for a contemporary art gallery is challenging considering how much contemporary art continues to push the boundaries. We decided with our structural engineers to design the galleries to be able to suspend a car at approximately 3m centres - that's a lot of cars! We worked closely with leading Services engineers, E-Cubed Building Workshop, to create an innovative lighting and electrical system with future proofing capacity. We worked with leading Acoustic Engineers, Marshall Day, to create an acoustic solution that allowed the incredibly loud kinetic sculptures of Len Lye to perform while being able to play his films at the same time. We worked with leading Cost consultants, Rider Levett Bucknall, to create an innovative building and upgrade the existing Heritage Grade A Building, with a very challenging budget. We are very excited about seeing the finished building when it opens in mid 2015!
*Note that the term 'we' or 'us' refers to Jo Aitken and the project team from Patterson Associates Ltd. 'In-house' refers to work carried out with Patterson Associates Limited.
Click Link below to read more about the Govett Brewster Art Gallery who will be running the new Len Lye Centre, due to open in Mid 2015
Thousands of people gathered at Mont Saint-Michel in northern France over the weekend to watch what has been billed as the high tide of the century wash around the picturesque landmark. The exceptionally high spring tide, swollen by a so-called supermoon effect linked to the solar eclipse on Friday, was predicted to cut off the mainland with a wall of water as high as a four storey building. Even before dawn, tourists from France and the world over - were on the bridge leading up to Mont Saint Michel, a site visited by three million people a year. Saint Malo, shown below, was another popular spot to watch the supertide.
Jo Aitken worked on this project with Austrian architect Dietmar Feichtinger, who is well known for his bridge projects. Image above shows the new bridge, which opened in 2014, which was designed as a minimal intervention in place of the previous solid roadway that had been disrupting the water flow and tides in the area.
The New Zealand Architecture Conference, held earlier this month, was a sell out success. It was a week long gathering of creative minds learning from an impressive line up of international architects from around the world, innovating and showing us the positive impacts they were having on their communities through their architecture.
We were fortunate to host and chair Kunle Adeyemi, an architect focused on public projects in developing countries, who has been named as 'One to Watch' by CNN.
The week left us feeling incredibly inspired and excited to step things up in the new year ahead.
We are excitied to be hosting the talented Kunlé Adeyemi, who will be visiting New Zealand next week, to talk about some of his key projects. This includes the well known project shown above, the Makoko Floating School. Click link below to read more about this project.
Several other innovative International architects will also be speaking at the New Zealand Achitecture Conference including one our favourites, work shown below, Sou Fujimoto.
Click link below to read our recent post:
Wishing you a Merry Christmas from the Team at Atelier Aitken xox See our Christmas article at :
Glenn Jeffrey captures the shadow of the iconic White Hart Hotel upon the newly finished facade as the sun rises.
Jo Aitken worked closely with the fabricators, Emmetts, to resolve the fabrication and detailing of these panels through her role as Project Architect with Patterson Associates. (Photograph by Govett Brewster gallery Staff)
New Zealand food company Oravida opened China’s first flagship store in Shanghai on Nov 1, 2014. Rt Hon Dame Jenny Shipley, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, opened the building, which sells New Zealand produce.
Jo Aitken and Andrew Patterson worked closely together on the design of this project for Oravida.
Jo Aitken was privileged to join Peggy Deamer, Liz Seuseu and Bill McKay to judge the first ever awards of this type in New Zealand.
The first A+W NZ Awards were held last night as organised by the dedicated A+W Team - Megan Rule, Lynda Simmons, Sarah Treadwell, Julie Wilson and Elisapeta Heta. The Principal Sponsors for the Awards were Resene and The Warren Trust. The commemorative book for the awards, as shown above, was designed by Studio Catherine Griffiths.
Congratulations to the winners Julie Stout, Cecile Bonnifait and Justine Clark & Gill Matthewson (Parlour).
The first lot of precast panels for the Len Lye Gallery are up. They look so beautiful, they are almost like a series of sculptures enveloping the new building. Refer to the Gallery’s facebook page for progress updates : www.facebook.com/govettbrewster
Jo Aitken worked closely with the fabricators, Emmetts, to resolve the fabrication and detailing of these panels through her role as Project Architect with Patterson Associates.
Please see this month’s edition on ‘Interior’ magazine to read about the impressive winners and a write up on the judging process, which was incredibly enjoyable with a great team of judges.
Jo Aitken joins Aaron Paterson, Rachel Carley, Chris Stevens and Federico Monsalve as a judge for this year’s Interior Awards. The Winners will be announced at the Awards tonight.
Joanna and Andrew went to Wanganui to inspect the steel moulds for the 15m long and 4m wide precast concrete panels. The panels, once poured, will only be about 12.5 - 15cm thick and so transporting and installing these fragile forms without damage will be a challenging task.
Article source: Taranaki News
Jo Aitken worked closely with the precasters, Emmetts, through her role as Project Architect with Patterson Associates Limited.