British award for Auckland Art Gallery

Auckland Art Gallery Wins International AwarAuckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki has won the International Award for Architectural Excellence from The Royal Institute of British Architects – the first time a New Zealand building has won.

The awards are given to only 12 buildings a year and recognise some of the world’s most imaginative, dramatic and green buildings. Other winners in 2012 include the world’s tallest building, the Guangzhou Finance Centre.

From this round of winners, a visiting jury will select the winner of the prestigious Lubetkin Prize.

Art galleries in New Zealand

Gallery director Chris Saines said, “We set out to develop a world class gallery and FJMT+Archimedia’s elegant and considered design has been instrumental to achieving that goal.

Judged on the response of the near 600,000 visitors to date, this heritage restored and expanded building has become a flag-bearer for the city’s architectural and urban design future.”

The development of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki was commissioned and project managed by Auckland Council and included a series of emblematic, sculpted tree-like canopies cut from massive Kauri trees that enclose the forecourt, atrium and gallery areas.

This international award comes within a month of the gallery also winning the supreme award, the New Zealand Architecture Medal, at the New Zealand Architecture Awards and the highest accolade as the country’s top commercial property development for 2012 at the annual Property Industry Awards.

The art gallery, opened in 1888, is New Zealand’s oldest established and largest public art gallery.

The Gallery holds more than 15,000 works of national and international art dating from the 12th century to the present day – including such figures as Goldie, Lindauer, Hodgkins, Angus and McCahon, together with Bruegel, Reni and Fuseli.

This makes it home to the country’s most extensive and highly regarded collection, particularly of New Zealand art.

The gallery was recently redeveloped at the cost of $121 million, paid by former Auckland City Council and the central government. Admission to the library is free.


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