Auckland Art Gallery wins
World Building of the Year 2013

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dezeen_Auckland Art Gallery wins World Building of the Year 2013_ss_1

World Architecture Festival 2013: the Auckland Art Gallery by Australian studio Frances-Jones Morehen Thorp has been awarded World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore.

Auckland Art Gallery wins World Building of the Year 2013

Frances-Jones Morehen Thorp's Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki in New Zealand was designed in association with New Zealand studio Archimedia as an extension and refurbishment of the existing gallery, creating a new entrance and doubling the amount of flexible exhibition space.

Auckland Art Gallery wins World Building of the Year 2013

Roofs over the forecourt, atrium and gallery spaces appear to float at different heights, patterned with wood panels on their undersides.

Auckland Art Gallery wins World Building of the Year 2013

These canopies are designed to mirror the trees at nearby Albert Park, which can be seen through the large transparent walls of the exhibition spaces.

Auckland Art Gallery wins World Building of the Year 2013

"Our inspiration was the beautiful natural landscape," FJMT design director Richard Francis-Jones said after the announcement. "We saw the building as embedded in place. We wanted to use natural local materials, especially the beautiful kauri trees. But because these are protected, we could only use fallen trees or recycled wood.

‘The building is all about New Zealand, and it has the work of great Maori artists embedded in it."

Auckland Art Gallery wins World Building of the Year 2013

When the project won the Culture category at the awards yesterday, the WAF judges said: "This is a highly sensitive addition to Auckland Art Gallery which reanimates and reinvigorates the existing building. It responds brilliantly to context and site and gives the gallery a new architectural identity."

The project beat 16 other category winners announced on day one and day two of the festival, including a whirlpool-shaped aquarium in Copenhagen by 3XN and two projects by last year's winners Wilkinson Eyre.

Auckland Art Gallery wins World Building of the Year 2013

Last year the World Building of the Year award went to Wilkinson Eyre Architects' Gardens by the Bay project in Singapore. Watch our interview with the firm's Paul Baker filmed moments after the announcement.

Auckland Art Gallery wins World Building of the Year 2013

Dezeen is media partner for the World Architecture Festival, which concludes today at the Marina Bay Sands hotel and conference centre - see all our coverage of WAF 2013 here.

Auckland Art Gallery wins World Building of the Year 2013

The event is held in conjunction with the biennial Inside Festival. This year's World Interior of the Year was won by a tiled Barcelona apartment by David Kohn Architects. See all our coverage on Inside Festival 2013 »

  • roy

    Thoroughly deserved… beautiful and sensitive project.

  • Scott W

    I like this building, but between 2012’s building of the year, Gardens by the Bay, and this year’s pick, the Auckland Art Gallery, it seems that the jurors for the World Building of the Year really love architecture that emulates the forms of trees…

  • piggy banks

    So they basically recycled the scientia building from UNSW. Kudos to the adaptive designers who approach each project with fresh eyes.

  • critic

    I think the problem with these awards is that sometimes the jury has conflicting opinions and a lame compromise wins…

    If this is the best of the world in 2013 I am seriously worried about the state of architecture.

    Yes! It doesn’t hurt anybody! Yes it’s decent!
    but it’s far from: innovative, progressive, constructive, responsive, challenging, novel, or for lack of a better word: brilliant!