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AUCKLAND CITY HARBOUR NEWS, FEBRUARY 11, 2011
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IN THE AUCKLAND AREA
Gallery's artful kauri ceiling
Solid work: Stephen Pearson, project director for the Auckland Art Gallery's kauri pod installation, had a team working split
shifts out of a joinery shed to create the stunning ceiling.
Photo: JASON OXENHAM
By HANNAH SPYKSMA
The budget for the Auckland Art
Gallery upgrade is $121 million.
So far 70 percent of the
renovation budget has been
Almost $500,000 has gone
towards sourcing kauri for the
atrium roof and labour costs.
GOOD old-fashioned Kiwi work-
manship is at the forefront of the
Auckland Art Gallery upgrade.
The multi-million dollar reno-
vations are due to be finished in
September in time for the Rugby
And the team behind its
refurbishment is hoping all eyes
will be on the handcrafted kauri
roof which has just been installed.
More than 150 cubic metres of
timber was sourced to complete the
project, which provides a visual
centrepiece for the new atrium on
With the ceiling towering 15
metres above the entrance, it has
been a labour of love for project
director Stephen Pearson.
The fact that we've used native
New Zealand timber, as well as
good old fashion Kiwi workmanship
-- those two things together have led
to a pretty special end result,'' he
Mr Pearson worked with two
separate teams to complete the
installation, which has taken more
than two years to build.
The kauri pods were designed by
architect groups FJMT and Archi-
media and are an interpretation of a
forest canopy. Along with the glass
facades of the atrium they aim to
link the natural and the built
environment of the gallery and its
The 28 pods were created in a
small workshop in Papakura, and
each measures about 10 metres by 5
Mr Pearson says the first pod
took four months to assemble
because it was created by hand with
a tolerance of just 0.2mm.
It's a pretty proud thing to have
the project finished,'' he says.
It's showing off what we can do
as tradespeople and showing off our
native timber for the world to see its
100 percent Kiwi workmanship.''
Gallery director Chris Saines
says renovations are on track and
he is confident the new premises
will open in time for the Rugby
Construction is due for com-
pletion about May, before final
checks are completed.
Air conditioning, painting, lift
and electrical systems still need to
be installed. The gallery will then
need three months for conditioning
of the building, to let dust settle and
We'll need every day of those fol-
lowing months to be able to move
into the area -- it's going to be all
hands to the pump to get things
ready for September,'' Mr Haines
I doubt we'll ever have a more
challenging time in our careers than
the next few months getting ready
Festival and events get more people on bikes
By KELSEY FLETCHER
Auckland commuters will be turn-
ing to two wheels when they take
part in the annual Go By Bike Day
The event is one of a series of
cycling festivals in February for
Bikewise Month with New Zealand-
ers being encouraged to bike to
work or school instead of going in
Cycle action co-chairwoman Bar-
bara Cuthbert says Bikewise Month
has been popular so far.
I've seen people out cycling
already. They use it to get them-
selves going for the year,'' she says.
There will be a free breakfast,
events and entertainment on the
Viaduct Harbour from 6.30am until
9am with cycle buses travelling
along Dominion Rd, Tamaki Drive
and the northwestern cycleway to
Businesses and organisations are
also being encouraged to take part
in the Bikewise Challenge to
promote healthy living, cheaper
transportation and an enjoyable
New Zealand Transport Agency
road user behaviour manager
Michael Cummins says the chal-
lenge is convincing people to give
cycling a go.
All you have to do to take part is
ride for 10 minutes, or 2km, at any
point during the month. Organis-
ations with the greatest partici-
pation will win some great prizes,''
The competition is open to any
company or organisation of similar
size in New Zealand to challenge
others in their region.
At the end figures show which
company got the highest percentage
of staff in the saddle.
Ms Cuthbert says she's looking
forward to the breakfast and seeing
cyclists wearing ordinary clothes
instead of the normal lycra suits.
It just shows how cycling is
becoming part of everyday life. You
don't have to put on special clothes
for it, you just get on your bike and
go,'' she says.
Last year more than 18,000
people signed up for the Bikewise
Challenge, with some organisations
achieving 100 percent participation.
Visit www.bikewise.co.nz for more
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