The Aigantighe Art Gallery display for future concepts of the home of art in South Canterbury.
Just what the $8.5-$9.5 million redevelopment of Timaru’s Aigantighe Art Gallery may look like is part of a new display at the facility.
In addition to the earthquake strengthening of the 114-year-old category two heritage-listed Heritage House Gallery, that has been closed to the public since 2017, as part of the 2021-31 Long Term Plan, the council has also committed to a full redevelopment of the Aigantighe’s 1978 and 1995 extensions.
The aim is to create a modern, fit-for-purpose gallery providing between 1000 to 1200m2 of exhibition space, increased collection storage space, workspaces and loading facilities as well as a multi-functional education space and community hub.
An initial registration of interest attracted 11 submissions, and from there five architectural firms were invited to produce more detailed concept designs for the project.
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Those five concepts from firms Architecture +, Irving Smith Architects, NB Architects, Roberts Gray Architects and Designgroup NZ, and Warren and Mahoney, are now on display at the gallery, giving members of the community and visitors the chance to give their feedback before the final decision is made by the project team.
Gallery project manager Hamish Pettengell said it was important the community had the opportunity to help shape the future of the gallery.
“We see the Heritage House Gallery as one of the biggest pieces of art in our collection and the project to seismically strengthens continues, and as we move closer to redeveloping the rest of the gallery it’s important that it’s done in a way that’s both sympathetic to the heritage values of the building, while meeting the current and future needs of the community and the growing collection,” he said.
“We’re now pleased that we can share these concept designs with gallery visitors and see what they think about them and, while the final decisions will be made by the project team, it will be great to get insight from the community about what they want from their gallery.
“Through what’s been a detailed procurement process it’s been great to see the level of interest in this project.”
He said the selection process had not been easy, but ”we believe the process has allowed us to access a wider pool of talent and input from a range of architectural firms to ensure we get the right partner that understands what we are wanting to achieve for the community within the constraints of the site and budget available”.
The display runs until Sunday, with the final decisions on the concept to be made in August.