This is an extension to the NZ Maritime Museum in Auckland, which is designed as an exhibition building for NZL32, the yacht which first won the America's Cup for New Zealand.
NZL32 is suspended within the existing buildings, and takes its place within an exhibition entitled 'Blue Water Black Magic', a tribute to the life of Sir Peter Blake, the round-the-world yachting legend who managed the Cup campaign and who was shot to death in 2002 on an environmental expedition along the Amazon.
To the east of the existing wharf a new extension floats over the sea. A series of beautiful small yachts portraying the history of New Zealand yachting occupy the extension. Large planes of polycarbonate cladding explode the traditional form of the sheds. Subtle shifts away from the orthogonal, combined with the variety of colour, transparency and reflectivity of the polycarbonate, suggest the ephemeral and constantly shifting conditions in which these thoroughbred yachts exist, as well as offering enticing and partially concealed glimpses of yachts from the outside.
The building is located opposite the busy Princess Wharf, home to many bars, restaurants and apartments. Completed in 2009 the building has become a focus of attention during the day and even more so at night when lighting will emphasise the transparency.
Excellence Award in Special Purpose Category, Property Council NZ, 2011
Auckland Public Architecture Award, NZIA, 2010
Location: Auckland, NZ
My Role: Architectural design and construction observation