Len Lye

This is New Zealand’s only dedicated single Artist Gallery.

The Len Lye Centre is designed to fulfil multiple requirements. It needed to integrate with a proposed new art and cultural precinct which links through to the commercial heart of the city and it also needed to seamlessly merge with an existing Art Gallery facility. The finished building introduces new gallery spaces, education studios, a cinema, the Len Lye Archive and a dedicated motor room for his kinetic works.

“[Len Lye would] be absolutely thrilled, he’d be dancing around in this place,” John Matthews, Len Lye Foundation Chairman.

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The building of curved stainless steel and concrete, incorporates a new urban sculpture square linking to a waterfront walkway. The 3000m building engages with the urban square via a light reflecting and transmitting facade. This transfers light in a holographic effect from one place to another to successfully enliven and activate both.

“It has oodles of zizz and is a fitting memorial to [Len Lye’s] genius,” Hon. Maggie Barry, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.

“The Len Lye Centre is artistically, spiritually and physically brilliant. The architect Andrew Patterson and contractors Clelands Construction and Rivet delivered on the dream. They have actually done what they said they would do. A simple but rare skill.” John Sergeant, Stuff.co.nz Opinion Columnist.

Len with Fountain of Hope (Peace) 1959. Courtesy Len Lye Foundation

Grass (1961) Courtesy the Len Lye Foundation. Photographer, Bryan James, Govett Brewster Art Gallery

Colour Flight (1938) film. Courtesy Len Lye Foundation

Len Lye is known for his kinetic work, sculptural art powered by electricity. The building uses a sustainable energy source to practically include ESD principles in a high performance environment which is required by International touring exhibition standards. This energy system has been negotiated with the projects sponsors, a major international sustainable energy corporation.

“From all accounts, the building is just magnificent.” David Alsop, Radio NZ Visual Arts Reporter.

“[It’s] the coolest building in New Zealand.” Art duo BMD.

“Pattersons have delivered a brilliant architectural design that is seen by many in the museum industry nationally and internationally as meeting our museological needs as well as the social, cultural and economic needs of a progressive yet modestly sized regional city, whilst offering a unique and valuable contribution to architecture within New Zealand, Australasia and the Pacific region. At every stage the Gallery has found Pattersons team to be highly collaborative and cooperative, they are excellent listeners and their range of services, attitude and approach has been exemplary.” Rhana Devonport, Director, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.

Len Lye Centre

New Plymouth, 2015

Gold Commercial Projects Award 2017
WAN Civic Building Award 2016
LGNZ: Excellence Awards 2016
Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Best Creative Place 2016
Stainless NZ, Innovation for Stainless Award 2016