Twin arts projects on time target

23:39, Jul 04 2014

Art lovers have only a year to wait before the combined Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Len Lye Centre opens its doors.

The Len Lye Centre is starting to take shape with the erection of its structural steel, forming the perimeter of the underground cinema and gallery spaces.

The Govett-Brewster is closed for earthquake strengthening work to its interior while the installation of ducting and sprinkler systems on the roof should be completed over the next three months.

Director Simon Rees said he was thrilled the Len Lye project was showing "all the signs" of running to time and budget. "This is allowing us to be working full steam behind the scenes on the dynamic range of exhibitions, commissions and artworks that will launch the new and refurbished building to our public."

Project director Gaye Batty said visitors would use a single entrance for both the gallery and Len Lye Centre.

"We're earthquake strengthening in the gallery building and replacing some interior walls with reinforced concrete columns and beams to connect to massive horizontal steel trusses on the roof."


Clelands Construction project manager Layton Cottam said it was a challenge to manage the strengthening of the gallery while constructing the centre around it.

"Here we have very complex, curved exterior precast panels that have to join to the main structural steel roof framing at varying angles," Cottam said.

"From the initial internal precast panels that shaped the cinema walls, precision was crucial to enable the structural steel to fit exactly into position."

More than 30 companies are involved with the Govett-Brewster earthquake strengthening and upgrades and Len Lye construction.

Taranaki Daily News