Art Gallery Renewal Project
Whare Toi - He mahi whakarite

Te Manawa Museum of Art Science and History will close its Art Gallery building from 1 July 2018 for up to ten months in order to complete some much-needed upgrades and repairs.

Te Manawa Art Gallery Renewal Project, Proposed Works:

The Art Gallery building includes five gallery (exhibition) spaces, an archive, an art classroom, a library, two offices, a staff room, an artwork store, two sculpture stores, a loading bay, back-of-house storage, a kitchen and two bathrooms.

While the main Museum complex will remain open, the proposed schedule of works for the Art Gallery building is as follows:

Stage One: Preparation – He Mahi Whakarite

  • From Monday 2 July, Te Manawa staff will begin clearing the gallery spaces within the Art Gallery building to accommodate the necessary work to follow
  • Clear out objects in exhibitions from gallery spaces G1,G3,G4 and G5 return artwork loans, or return City art to secure storage
  • Construct hoardings in G4 to make a sealable temporary storage space
  • Move objects in sculpture store, exhibition furniture and other furniture and fittings in asbestos-affected areas to G4 and then seal up G4
  • Dismantle, remove and dispose of existing air-con ducting in G3
  • Lighting track and light fittings in asbestos affected areas dismantled, removed and transferred to storage
  • Ceramic Floor tiles removed from entrance

Te Manawa has allowed nine weeks for Stage One. All stages above need to be sequential, except for dismantling of ducting, lighting tracks and fittings, and ceramic tiles, where some work may be carried out concurrently. Timing has been advised by contractors who would undertake the work.

Access to art collections and back of house is still possible during this time. This access is essential for development of collection-based shows to open in 2019


Stage Two: Asbestos Removal – He Mahi para tēpoko

  • Erection of scaffolding in sculpture store and back entrance to gallery; order new ducting product
  • Scraping asbestos from roof panels in all affected areas except G3 and building entrance, and safe disposal of same
  • Removal and safe disposal of ceiling panels from entrance and G3
  • Make good scraped ceiling panels and paint finish

After consultation with asbestos removal contractor, Te Manawa has allowed seven weeks for this phase of the renewal project. During Stage 2 there will be NO access to the art gallery building by anyone except the asbestos removal contractor, and for the first week riggers for scaffolding set-up.


Stage Three: Removal of Technology – He Mahi Hangarau

Stage 3 includes the removal of the track lighting, ceilings, data cabling, reinstatement of the ceilings, ducting replacement, and then making good which includes painting. Up to three months has been allowed to complete this work, which cannot begin until asbestos removal has been undertaken.

Stage Four: Technical Installation – He Auraki Hangarau

Stage 4 includes replacement of all track lighting, removal of existing floors and then preparing floors for the installation of the new floors. Six weeks has been allowed to complete this work which includes:

  • Reinstatement of track and other ceiling mounted lighting systems
  • Unsealing G4 and removal of temporarily stored items there in preparation for painting and new flooring
  • Making good and repainting of all gallery
  • Lay new flooring directly over existing cork and replacing carpet tiles, new flooring TBC at building entrance

NB: the decision on flooring materials, which is budget dependent, will have a large impact on timing for all activities from this point on. The new timber flooring and new concrete flooring options will affect dates in Stage Five.

Stage Five: People Spaces – Ngā wāhi tāngata

Stage Five sees the upgrade of the reception area, ground and first floor kitchens and offices and the education space on the first floor. It’s possible this work can be completed at the same times as other works happening in the Gallery. Ten weeks has been allowed to complete this work which includes:

  • Upgrade of kitchen and offices and art classroom.
  • Construction, fabrication and installation of exhibition furniture and hardware in all gallery spaces
  • Installation of furniture in sculpture store

The final stage will be setting up the gallery ready to be reopened to the public. This includes

  • Installation of exhibition content, objects, interpretive media, graphics etc.
  • Reinstatement of sculpture store objects
  • Reinstatement of books, periodicals and shelving in the art library space


How long is Te Manawa closed for?

Te Manawa remains open. Only the Art Gallery is affected by this project – for up to 10 months. The Museum complex will be open as normal, from 10am-5pm daily.

Why does the whole gallery need to be closed?

Storage and preservation of artworks is very important. The Art Gallery building is a temperature-controlled environment, and works have to be protected from dust, damage and the elements. It is not possible to undertake a renewal project of this size and scope while exhibitions are on display. Nor would it be safe for the public.

How committed is Te Manawa to the ongoing display of art?

Very. In fact our ability to engage entire communities in conversations around art and artistic practice is a role we take very seriously. Not only do we want to have more of the public collection on display, we want to showcase it in the very best, most professional setting possible. In addition, arrangements are being made to display artworks from the Te Manawa collection in the Museum for the duration of the Art Gallery renewal.

Is the Art Gallery being closed in preparation for demolition in the 2025 project?

Absolutely not. It is being closed to allow necessary works to be undertaken.

Why have you suddenly decided to do this now? Isn’t it redundant given that Te Manawa is proposing a rebuild of its complex for 2025?

Not at all. Te Manawa has no current plans to remove the art gallery building. Its place in any new build or configuration of the Te Manawa complex will be a very important one. Completion of the TM2025 project is seven years away and in that time we expect to host hundreds of thousands of visitors through Te Manawa, and consult widely with our communities on its future. It is equally important that in whatever form Te Manawa takes, there must be dedicated spaces to the display of art that are fully functional, modern in terms of exhibition capability, multi-media-friendly, safe and inviting.