Thursday, 17 October 2013


Congratulations to NZer Eleanor Catton, author of the novel Luminaries, and the winner overnight (which is different to an overnight winner) of the UK’s MAN Booker Prize. Damned fine work. Based on all the fine words that have been said about your prize-winner, if the whole premise and structure of your novel wasn’t based so strongly on astrology, I’d be picking up a copy.  (Although, apparently, this is “not something you notice when you’re reading ... amazingly well written ... very entertaining crime novel”)

And congratulations too, to the 36 award-winners in the NZIA Auckland Regional Architecture awards. Although, to me, there’s something disquieting when the winner of the Enduring Architecture award (the Newcombe House in Parnell, Auckland (above) designed by Peter Bartlett has more simple soul about it than the 35 winners of today. Like this thing:

But the biggest congratulations for the biggest artistic award, has to go to the architects of the Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland’s best public building in nearly a hundred years, and named this week the World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore.

Auckland Art Gallery has been named World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore.

Yes, it’s been derided as “an atrium with an art gallery attached.”1 And you can bicker about the quality, or lack thereof, of the “art” adorning what should be the second-floor sculpture gallery (in which the trees of Albert Park virtually become part of the gallery)—which might at least help bewildered visitors trying to enter the gallery from Albert Park to find the door. But as a great public building linking city and park, as a piece of architecture that began with a great concept that was (unusually) followed through, the architects produced a minor miracle, for which they deserve every plaudit they get.

The terraced northern and eastern edges address Albert Park.

And isn’t this members’ lounge one of the best reasons to join the Gallery as a member?

The members lounge occupies the elevated north-east corner of the gallery, looking out to Albert Park.

1. Come in Mr Litterick.

[Pics by Patrick Reynolds et al, from Architecture Now.]

1 comment:

  1. Love the Auckland Art Gallery but will reserve judgement on The Luminaries until I've finished it. The astrological motif at the beginning of each chapter and the explanation of what happens in it, are certainly a bit disconcerting. Mind you, anything is better than The Bone People, our last Booker winner.


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