Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Selling Us Short

I would strongly support the Hundertwasser Gallery if it was built from a genuinely original design by Hundertwasser and watched over by him during its construction (this view is also shared by many of my colleagues in the Arts) . It would then be a very special building and well worth the expense and effort because it would be amazingly good and pay for itself in many ways - by enriching our culture and its cost offset by ticket paying visitors. Alas, after Hundertwasser's death this cannot happen and the proposed building, in my opinion, is a well intentioned pale imitation that will fail - artistically and financially.

If it is going to be built by the new Whangarei District Council, then shifting the site to a gallery site recommended in the 20/20 planning proposals, commissioned by the WDC some time ago, would be a better decision in my view - i.e. further up the riverside as a stand alone structure in a park setting. This would enhance Hundertwasser's work in an a more aesthetic and ecological setting that is more in keeping with his ideas and works. We could then walk around and over it. It would also provide the opportunity to raise the structure and put a car park underneath (like Te Papa in Wellington). This would protect the gallery from flooding, which is a very real hazard in the Town Basin area. The extra revenue from parking fees would help pay for it too. 

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