Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Portrait of a shed

Last week's Capital Times has a short article about the proposal to provide the New Zealand Portrait Gallery and the New Zealand Centre for Photography with permanent exhibition space at Shed 11. In some of my earlier posts about waterfront changes, I mentioned that this was a good idea, and with the council incorporating plans for this in the draft long-term plan, it now looks like it's getting closer to reality.

Shed 11 seen from One Red DogThere are no plans or drawings available online yet, but there were some on display at the shed during the recent Adam Portraiture Awards exhibition. They included opening up at least one of the big doors on the seaward side for a café and bookshop. Looking at these doors from One Red Dog, and realising that most of the parked cars will be replaced by raised lawns and other greenery, it's easy to imagine this becoming a very pleasant public space. So I wrote a quick letter off to the Capital Times in support of the proposal:
A permanent home for the New Zealand Portrait Gallery and the New Zealand Centre for Photography would be a perfect use for Shed 11 (31 May). The preliminary designs show how the shed can be opened up to interact with the surrounding spaces while still respecting the heritage of the building.

Cultural institutions like this will also nicely complement the existing and proposed uses of the emerging Kumutoto precinct. By combining the gallery with workplaces, housing, retail and hospitality, arranged around sheltered, high-quality public spaces, we will see this once-neglected part of the waterfront truly come alive.


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