TOI Mahara wins big at awards season

27 May 2024, 3:21 PM

The recently opened TOI Mahara Kāpiti Coast District Gallery won two prestigious awards last week.

Kāpiti Coast District Mayor Janet Holborow described the awards as “the icing on the cake for such an important facility in our district”.

The Athfield Architects Limited-designed TOI Mahara received one of three awards in the Public Architecture section of the 2024 Wellington Architecture Awards.

It also earned a Gold award in the Tourism and Leisure section at the Master Builders’ Commercial Project Awards for Crowe Construction.

Gordon Shroff, current chairperson of the Mahara Gallery Trust, which spearheaded the gallery’s redevelopment, is thrilled with the awards.

“We set out to create a distinctive, professional-standard gallery to store and display our taonga artworks,: he said. These awards confirm that as well as achieving those goals, we’ve delivered a building with the highest quality of design and workmanship.

“After more than two decades of fundraising and construction, we’re very proud to have created this beautiful gallery for Kāpiti,” said Mr Shroff.

“While I was fortunate enough to be Chairperson when we achieved our goal, it’s important to acknowledge successive Trust members and donors who worked so hard to make the dream of a new gallery a reality.”

Mayor Holborow and Mr Shroff congratulated Athfield Architects and Crowe Construction on their wins. 

“A large part of the success of the project is down to the professionalism of everyone involved. Our award-winning district gallery is testament to the positive relationships between suppliers and internal teams who worked really well together towards our common goal,” said Mayor Holborow.

Judges of the Wellington Architecture Awards noted the design gives the building a new identity and acknowledges its geographic and cultural location. They commended the design’s inclusion of a series of flexible spaces within a compact footprint.

The upgraded TOI Mahara provides a permanent home for the nationally significant Field Collection which includes 24 paintings by Frances Hodgkins, and associated documents.  The new gallery has double the number of exhibition galleries and almost three times the exhibition space as its predecessor.