Len Lye Art Museum | Pattersons Architects
Pattersons architects recently finished building an arts museum in New Plymouth, dedicated to the the works of Len Lye, a renowned filmmaker and sculptor. This is the first time in New Zealand that a museum is dedicated to the works of a single artist.
Pattersons took this opportunity to create a building that reflects the works and principles of Len Lye while appreciating his ideology that focused on the relationship between art and architecture. The museum is in combination with an existing art gallery, Govett-Brewster as they share same entrance, maintenance staff and art rooms.
The main feature of the museum is the facade which is actually a folded skin made of highly reflective stainless steel that is locally produced. It is also a way of showing the advancement made in the steel sector by the region. Steel gives unrealistic and ever-changing facade throughout the day by reflecting and refracting different moods and seasons in neighbourhood as well as nature.
According to Pattersons,
“Lye was fascinated with temples and our design uses principles from the classical world, as well as Polynesian forms and ideas…………………. Len Lye is an inspirational figure who bridged a multitude of creative disciplines. This building is about amplifying his work by physically representing the partnership that he identified between art and architecture.”
The building is sub-divided into four floors that house a multitude of gallery as well as viewing rooms, a cinema, a cafe and a shop. Apart from that, sufficient space is provided for educational and archiving purpose. To make the visit more adventurous, the designer have used elements like small bridges, catwalks and voids thus engaging their curiosity till the end.
Also, the masterful play of light and shadow create a colonnade according to the designers. Gaps between the steel folded skins allow sunlight to pilfer into the museum thus creating interesting formations while adding to the sanctity and purity of the ‘temple’ of arts.
Commissioned by the the Government of New Zealand, this is a nice effort to show appreciation and respect to one of the biggest pioneers of arts in the country whose work is the permanent feature of prestigious institutions like Museum of Modern Art and Art Institute of Chicago.
Architects: Patterson Associates
Location: New Plymouth, New Zealand
Project Year: 2015
Photographs: Patrick Reynolds