Christchurch Art Gallery – TE PUNA O WAIWHETU
1The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu is in a visually arresting building right in the centre of Christchurch city. The gallery attracts many local, national and international visitors, and is a treasured hub for the arts in the Christchurch. It comprises a single basement, major gallery space, and a distinctive main foyer area with a stunning glass sculpture wall. The structural engineering for this significant cultural project was trusted to the experts at Holmes Consulting.
2One significant challenge of this project was to provide the large open exhibition spaces the gallery needs, at the same time as designing a structure to cope with the heavy floor loading. The two main galleries were designed to have a floor to floor height of 7 metres and to be essentially free of columns, which would cramp the flow and atmosphere of the space. A further challenge was the distinctive curved bridge element that crosses the foyer between the two gallery structures—visually compelling, but demanding some very nifty engineering to secure. Finally, the depth and extent of the basement required careful consideration in Christchurch conditions: the unstable environment has the potential to create immediate, medium and long term problems
3Our designers threw their technical expertise, local knowledge and passion into the job, creating innovative solutions that delivered a robust, resilient structure that delights its many visitors. We’re particularly proud of the large open spaces the design achieved – creating a compelling atmosphere to showcase the work of many leading artists from New Zealand and all over the world.