Te Ao Mārama marks the arrival of an inclusive and collaborative approach to the storytelling of Tāmaki Herenga Waka. The new South Atrium renovation brings balance to the original European architecture, and embeds mana whenua and Pacific narratives into the museum’s civic spaces. Tikanga now guides welcome, arrival, orientation and kai. New boulevards connect Te Ao Mārama to the Māori Court, and the tanoa bowl form is fully realised with exquisite detailing. External works enhance the pedestrian experience of arrival and provides views to significant landforms. Te Ao Mārama sets a new precedent and lays down a challenge to all who visit it to see their museum, and their heritage, afresh.
This collaborative team has successfully unlocked the bicultural potential in a nationally significant heritage building. By engaging in meaningful consultation with diverse governance to meet public expectations, the collaborators have enhanced both the He Korahi Māori and Teu Le Va experiences. This thoughtful design responds to the proportions of the existing building with a heritage fabric that has been adaptively reused and refurbished, and successfully pieces together old and new. The new work enables a dialogue between New Zealand’s colonial past and the present, and offers a path towards decolonisation.
Image: Dennis Radermacher.
The three-storey building houses a mix of laboratory, office and meeting/seminar space. It provides purpose-built facilities for the Wolfson Centre for the Prevention of Stroke and Dementia, as well as research space for the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging.
It has been awarded a RIBA South Award and Winner in the New Buildings Category in the Oxford Preservation Trust Awards.
The success of Bunjil Place is due to a confluence of intelligent and ambitious undertakings by the designers and client that have resulted in a coherent, well-resolved and joyful design.
Co-development and expansion of the brief raised initial expectations and enabled the project to realise its full potential. A generosity of spirit is evident in fjmtinterior’s determination to provide authentic world-class facilities for the City of Casey, including an international-standard art gallery and an 850-seat state-of-the-art theatre. The highly functional design caters equally to the needs of international artists and primary school groups.
Genuine engagement with the Indigenous community, from the competition stage and throughout the design process, has strengthened and informed the symbolic design, which integrates the form of Bunjil through the timber ceiling grid.
Planning is intuitive and human-centred. All amenities, including the library, art gallery, theatre, council chambers and offices radiate from the central lobby, maximising cross-interaction and cross-engagement. The flexible use of spaces – in particular, the Council Chamber’s adaptability to a function venue – has provided increased revenue and is a demonstrably effective use of rate payers’ money.
Bunjil Place has proven transformative to a community through increased local patronage to the arts and literature, new job creation, education and access to the arts, and local access to world-class performances and exhibitions. This project has changed lives positively and will continue to do so for future generations.