Waikanae library and gallery options still open
While the Mahara Trust reviews its options and opportunities around fund raising for an upgraded Mahara Gallery, Council has still to confirm the designs and costings for the Waikanae Library and its connection to the neighbouring gallery, Project Manager Peter Knight confirmed today.
The Mahara Gallery Trust has been looking to upgrade the gallery for some years. The gallery is the preferred custodian of the Field Collection, a collection of paintings and sketches by Frances Hodgkins and other notable artists with strong connections to the Waikanae area.
The current gallery environment does not meet the standards required for this important collection. Unless an upgrade is carried out, the collection is likely to find a permanent home elsewhere.
Combining the gallery upgrade with a planned upgrade to the Waikanae Library offers an opportunity to develop a synergy between the two facilities, to share amenities and make a significant improvement to the Waikanae Town Centre, and Mahara Place in particular.
“A proposal has been developed for both the library and the gallery by architects Tennent+Brown and Parsonson Architects. Council staff are moving quickly to report back details of the proposal and the costs involved to Council,” Mr Knight said.
At the outset of the project the gallery and the library both had ideas about what they wanted to achieve and prepared briefs detailing their requirements. An architectural competition was held, and the winner of that competition has developed their concepts in much more detail.
Initial budgets were identified for both the gallery and the library. However, the architects advised early on that achieving all the requirements of the brief was not possible within the existing budget.
The architects and stakeholders reviewed several different versions of the designs to develop a concept which retains the quality aimed for in the briefs and provides more gallery space.
“This final concept has been endorsed by the stakeholder group and the next step is to present it to the Waikanae Community Board and then to the Council in the next month,” Mr Knight said.