It was opened in 2003 but suffered significant damage after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, sinking into the mud. For the next five years it was used as a Civil Defence building and was closed to the public while improvements were made. It has now regained its former glory. Its impressive, sculpted glass wall façade can stand by itself and the glass panels have ball joints that allow the wall of glass to flex. It is the largest art institution in the South Island and host to many of the city’s treasure, so it was sorely missed. It was important to reconnect with the public and for that, communication was key.
It would bring colour, life and movement into the large open space.
It was decided that a video wall in the large airy foyer would be a key element to inform and involve the patrons of the gallery. It would bring colour, life and movement into the large open space. The only issue was the light.
The sculpted glass wall of the gallery building is beautiful. This huge bank glass allows natural light to stream into the building. This is perfect for works of art to show shadow and texture and it also brings in heat during the winter, but for a wall of video screens it is a nightmare, man’s technology competing with the sun. When we came down to take the briefing and were told the specs of the screens they wanted we could immediately advise the gallery it would not work. No matter how tempting the offers or enticing the video, the picture would be washed out by the force of the sun. To combat that we installed 2,500 nit, 55-inch screen panels that could compete with a summer sun. They beamed their crisp and bright messages into the foyer and brought modern flair and communication to the heart of the project.