At the last day of the World Architecture Festival, the winners of each category had their chance to showcase their projects in front of the jury and the audience. The jury, which included Ken Tadashi Oshima (University of Washington), Ken Yeang (Llewelyn Davies Yeang), Patrick Bellew (Atelier Ten), Jeanne Gang (Studio Gang Architects) and Dietmar Eberle (Baumschlager Eberle), gave the World Building of the Year Award to the new Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT) and Archimedia.
The new Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki is an extensive public project that includes the restoration and adaption of heritage buildings; a new building extension which more than doubles the public exhibition areas; extensive basement storage and support areas; and the redesign of adjacent areas of Albert Park. The design creates an openness and transparency to allow views through, into and out of the gallery circulation and display spaces into the green landscape of Albert Park. The architecture developed from a concept which relates as much to the organic natural forms of the landscape as it does to the architectural order and character of the heritage buildings.
The collection of the gallery can be visited online at the Google Cultural Institute.
“The winning project transcended category types. You could say it is about new and old, or civic and community, or display. It contrasts the manmade and the natural, and the relationship between art and science. This is a major design achievement in a seismic zone, providing an example of design pragmatism and a carful reworking which does no more than it needs to until it is required. Balancing many different elements, the resulting design is a rich complex of built ideas.” - Paul Finch, WAF Director.
Other awarded projects at the WAF were the Australian Garden by Taylor Cullity Lethlean + Paul Thompson (Landscape Project of the Year) and the National Maritime Museum in China by Cox Rayner Architects (Future Project of the Year).