Project Type: Public
Project: Govett Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre
Client: New Plymouth District Council
Budget: $15 million
Lead Consultant: Patterson Associates Limited
Named 'Best Cultural Building of 2015 by Azure Magazine'
As the Project Architect, working closely with Andrew Patterson from Patterson Associates, Jo Aitken played a key role in all phases from briefing and design through to construction.
Following an intensive consultation process 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, 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.
This project comprises of a new contemporary art gallery, dedicated to iconic New Zealand artist Len Lye, and the compliance upgrade of the existing Govett Brewster Art Gallery. This project also included a proposal to transform the existing road, adjacent the building, into a public square to become the cultural heart of the city.
This project has many innovative features including the 15m monolithic concrete panels, the curved stainless steel facade and some innovative lighting and power solutions.
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