Auckland Art Gallery wins World Building of the Year 2013

The World Architecture Festival 2013 in Singapore announced Auckland Art Galley by Australian firm Frances- Jones Morehen Thorp as the winners of the World Building of the Year.

The project was designed in association with New Zealand studio Archimedi as an extension and refurbishment of the existing gallery, creating a new entrance and doubling the amount of flexible exhibition space.

The roofs over the forecourt, atrium and gallery that are patterned with wood panels on the undersides appear to be floating at different heights.

They are designed to reflect the trees at the nearby Albert Park that can be seen through the large transparent walls of the exhibition spaces.

The project won over 16 other projects including a whirlpool- shaped aquarium in Copenhagen by 3XN.

“Our inspiration was the beautiful natural landscape,”  said FJMT design director Richard Francis-Jones. “We saw the building as embedded in place. We wanted to use natural local materials, especially the beautiful kauri trees. But because these are protected, we could only use fallen trees or recycled wood.

‘The building is all about New Zealand, and it has the work of great Maori artists embedded in it.”