Foreshore prefabs part of Puke Ariki exhibition

19:31, Nov 30 2012
Penny Deamer
HOME BUILT: Yale University professor of architecture Penny Deamer talks about her expectations for the Kiwi Prefab: Cottage to Cutting Edge exhibition that opened at Puke Ariki last night.

Four dwellings making a home on New Plymouth's foreshore are part of a unique exhibition opened at Puke Ariki last night.

For the first time in the museum's history an exhibition in partnership with Victoria University was celebrated by close to 100 people.

Kiwi Prefab: Cottage to Cutting Edge is the brainchild of industry experts Mark Southcombe and Pamela Bell along with Victoria University and is being hosted by Puke Ariki through until April 1 next year.

The exhibition involves the four prefabs at the foreshore landing and an extensive exhibition inside Puke Ariki.

Acting general manager of Puke Ariki, Kelvin Day, said the idea arose more than two years ago and seemed a natural fit.

"It's an opportunity for both of us to build on our strengths. They have the architecture skills and we have the skills to put the whole concept of the exhibition together right here," he said.

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Guest speaker at the opening last night was Yale University professor of architecture Penny Deamer, who is visiting New Zealand as part of her sabbatical.

Ms Deamer says she has had an interest in prefabrication for many years and has high expectations of quality and ingenuity for the exhibition.

After first visiting New Plymouth three years ago to experience the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Ms Deamer says she was looking for a good excuse to return.

"Everywhere I travel people tell me I must come to New Plymouth because of how culturally sophisticated it is. Its reputation does precede it," she said.

As a country New Zealand has the greatest potential for prefabrication. "More than most countries it can exploit the full benefits of it," she said.

Taranaki Daily News