Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Voyager NZ Maritime Museum in Auckland, New Zealand by Pete Bossley
April 25th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Bossley Architects
This extension to the NZ Maritime Museum is designed to house an exhibition of New Zealand yachting, from early small boats through to NZL32, which first won the America’s Cup for this country. NZL32 was gifted to Te Papa, and is now exhibited as a collaboration between Voyager and Te Papa.
The alteration expands the building outwards and upwards, in a series of planes which explode the traditional form of the sheds. To the east an extension pushes over the sea, housing a series of beautiful yachts portraying the history of New Zealand small boat sailing.
Large planes of polycarbonate cladding contrast with the traditional building. Subtle shifts away from the orthogonal, combined with the ever-changing variety of colour, transparency and reflectivity of the polycarbonate, suggest the ephemeral and constantly shifting conditions of wind, light and swell which are integral to the world of yachting. The main eastern panel lifts to follow the ramp inside and partially reveal the exhibits through a slither of glazing underneath, and of the sea from within.
Soon after entering from the older galleries, visitors confront the powerful form of the black hull hovering in the space above. Rather than being supported on the usual cradle, the boat is suspended from above by its own rigging: there is no additional mechanism other than that used on the boat in action.
Visitors then follow an extended architectural promenade, from the main space out to the wharf edge, and onto the ramp which winds up past the small boats, in the soft light and dappled reflections from the sea, then back into the main space to continue climbing, this time around NZL32 and up to the high point where the Americas Cup is displayed. Along this 100m ramp the visitors experience numerous displays and viewpoints of the yachts.
At night the large plane facing Prince Wharf becomes a huge light box with magical light effects across the water.
Contact Pete Bossley