A place for art – the Gallery now
After six years of construction the developed Gallery building reopened to the public on 3 September 2011. We began this major project by asking the citizens of Auckland what kind of gallery they wanted. Their answers shaped the vision and led the design direction. People asked for an iconic building that would help create outstanding art experiences. They wanted a world-class public art gallery that valued its architectural heritage, unique site and New Zealand’s biculturalism.
Sydney-based architecture firm FJMT and Auckland practice Archimedia were contracted as architects. The FJMT + Archimedia design answered our brief with flair and confidence.
As a result, our gallery spaces today retain features of the French Château style building and the Mackelvie Gallery. These are sensitively combined with a 21st-century design. Important new architectural elements enhance the Gallery’s relationship with Albert Park, once a Māori pā (fortified village), and include our three Māori commissions. The visual and architectural connection to Albert Park reflects our desire to honour the Gallery’s site and its heritage, and the Māori commissions demonstrate our commitment to biculturalism. The Gallery now succeeds in connecting people with art, heritage and place.