Building of the Year inspired by New Zealand wildlife

An unusual art gallery extension in Auckland, which was inspired by the trees of New Zealand, has won its creators the prestigious World Building of the Year award.

The gallery, known as Toi o Tamaki, was refurbished after a partnership was formed between architectural firms from Sydney and Auckland. Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp and Archimedia worked together to extend the existing building, effectively doubling the space available for exhibits and forming a striking new entrance.

The design makes great use of wooden canopies, which have been formed to echo the shapes of local kauri trees; these are supported by graceful trunk-like pillars. The architects explained that they had been inspired by the New Zealand landscape and had hoped to use local materials so that the gallery fitted perfectly into its leafy setting.

As kauri trees are a protected species, all of the wood used in the extension had to be taken from recycled or fallen timber. The trees that surround the gallery are visible from inside the exhibition spaces due to the building’s huge glass walls, which reduce the separation between the interior and the natural forms outside.

When planning a modern building, or refurbishing an existing one, wood is one of the materials that may be chosen in order to reflect natural surroundings, or to create an older feel.

For those who plan to build in the North West, professional and reputable Chester architects with knowledge of sustainable design will be able to create the type of sensitive and environmentally sound building that is required.

Posted by Adam Lloyd
October 17, 2013
New Buildings

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