A New Zealand Art Gallery Is The 'Building Of The Year'

New Zealand’s Auckland Art Gallery was named the World Building of the Year at last week’s World Architecture Festival in Singapore. The building beat out competition from a shortlist of more than 300 projects from 50 countries to win the global architecture community’s most prestigious award.

The gallery recently underwent a nine-year redevelopment process that updated the center’s original buildings and doubled its public exhibition space. The airy new design is distinctly tree-like, its sloping ceilings reminiscent of the canopies of the surrounding landscape. In a nod to New Zealand’s native Maori tradition, the architects only used timber from trees that had already fallen in the forest.

“It transcended various category types,” said Paul Finch, director of the World Architecture Festival. “It explores the relationship between new and old, it is a civic and community building, it is a display building, it engages with the difference between man-made and natural, it deals with art and science, and it is certainly about culture.”

Another shot of the exterior of the gallery:

And the atrium:

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