Post sponsored by

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Auckland Museum

Auckland Museum’s redeveloped South Atrium, Te Ao Mārama, has been lauded by Architecture NZ magazine at the annual Interior Awards last night. Auckland Museum and its architects, Jasmax (in partnership with FJMT and designTRIBE) and Salmond Reed as Heritage Architects won the Civic Award and was also announced as the Supreme Winner.

“This acknowledgement reflects the collaborative effort between Auckland Museum and our multi-disciplinary design team to deliver new infrastructure designed to enhance the Museum’s functionality, combining mana whenua welcome, cultural orientation and generous manaakitanga,” says Dr David Gaimster, Chief Executive of Auckland War Memorial Museum. “Te Ao Marama resolves the tensions between the Museum’s monumental heritage architecture and its contemporary responsibility to social inclusion and diverse communities of interest, the Museum building has been described in Architecture NZ as ‘transformed into a space for decolonisation to begin’.”

The judges of the Interior Awards citation described Te Ao Marama  as “a significant landmark project is the result of a thoughtful unlayering of past interventions and an addition of interstitial elements, underpinned with a strong bicultural narrative. Following an eight-year-long collaborative and consultative process, the design team has succeeded in balancing the mana of the north and south atriums: bringing back volume to the space, releasing the tanoa, and creating prominent east and west boulevards to bring together a series of complex geometries. This exceptional project brings together the successive eras of the building holistically while providing a place of welcome, gathering and belonging for the wider community.”

The Interior Awards is the only awards programme of its kind in New Zealand with the sole focus of celebrating New Zealand-designed projects that push the limits of interior and spatial design as well as the talented designers and teams that conceptualise and develop these ideas.

Interior editor of Architecture NZ and convenor of the jury, Amanda Harkness said, “What was heartening to see were projects reclaiming spaces originally built for other uses, the inclusion of natural, sustainable materials, all carefully detailed and assembled, and the rise of spaces which echo the language and culture of Aotearoa.” She said the projects which prevailed this year amongst the strong line up were those that demonstrated collaboration, authenticity, craftsmanship and inclusiveness.

This aspiration is especially true for the Civic Award winner.

“The intent for these interiors was to bring a unifying experience which transcends eras, intuitively guiding the visitor through the museum and its galleries” says Project Architect, Marianne Riley from the architectural joint venture of Jasmax with FJMT and design Tribe. “Materials were assessed for their robustness and also their ability to patina in areas of high public use. Selections such as bronze joinery, terrazzo flooring, tawa and Tasmanian blackwood veneers were deliberately chosen to pay homage to the Museum’s origins, materiality, and its more recent additions – such as the Fijian kauri clad tanoa bowl dating from 2006” adds Riley.

The newly renovated Te Ao Mārama South Atrium also houses Hokohoko, the Museum Store, and the Tuitui Café & Bistro which was awarded in the Hospitality category of the Auckland Architecture Awards last month.  

More than 300,000 visitors have experienced the Te Ao Mārama South Atrium hospitality precinct since it opened to the public on 5 December 2020.

NZIA Interior Awards’ Judges Citations

Te Ao Mārama – Winner of Civic Award and Supreme Winner