Saturday, August 8, 2009

Museum and Art Gallery Redevelopment Announced

Image Courtesy Hawke's Bay Museum & Art Gallery Great news announced last night! The Napier City Council has launched a $17-million plan to redevelop the Hawke's Bay Museum and Art Gallery and this is what it will look like - I think anyone who knows the existing building will agree this is a HUGE improvement. The redevelopment will kick off in mid-2010 and director of the museum and gallery, Douglas Lloyd Jenkins says he is committed to retaining the history and character of the current building while introducing light and space, and making better use of existing areas. "Our exhibitions are innovative and extremely well-received and we have some of the best collections in New Zealand but a lack of space means we aren't always able to fulfil our potential," he says. "This project aims to re-package the outside to match the wealth of objects and projects outside." The redevelopment will make full use of the existing architectural features and it will add more storage, work space and archive rooms. A work by one of my favourite New Zealand artist, Sara Hughes will also run the length and height of the facade of the new building, creating a striking first impression for visitors. Sara's work at Christchurch Art Gallery last year had a real WOW factor and you can see that if you put her name into my blog's search box, above left. It goes without saying that the redeveloped building will be equally enlivened by her bright, bold expression. The Hawke's Bay Museum and Art Gallery has a rich history of cutting edge architecture. The first wing was designed by acclaimed Art Deco architect Louis Hay in the 1930s. The Century Theatre, which has become the cornerstone of culture and performance in Hawke's Bay, was designed in the 1970s by leading modernist architect, Guy Natusch; and the architect for the 2010 redevelopment is Richard Daniels of Opus International Consulting. Daniels was the lead architect on the Staples Rodway Building in Hastings and the new Hawke's Bay Regional Council offices in Napier. A project website has been set up and you can view redevelopment progress from today - August 8th - at More information on Sara Hughes, who works with bold colour and repetitive pattern on a grand scale, can be found at

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