Pattersons Associates Uses Stainless Steel To Create Shimmering Art Museum Devoted To Len Lye

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The reflective stainless steel skin of the new Len Lye Museum in New Plymouth, New Zealand pays tribute to the operate of the experimental artist identified for his kinetic and multimedia pieces .

Len Lye Museum by Pattersons Associates

Developed by New Zealand-based mostly Pattersons Associates, the building is clad with locally sourced stainless steel. The folded surface reflects and refracts its surroundings, shifting its look during the day and the seasons.

Len Lye Museum by Pattersons Associates

This effect draws parallels with the function of the late artist. Born in Christchurch in 1901, Lye was a pioneer in video artwork, creating movies by scratching and painting on celluloid.

He is also nicely identified for his kinetic sculptures, many of which move or bend with tiny variations in air movement.

Len Lye Museum by Pattersons Associates

“The shimmering, iridescent colonnade facade, produced locally utilizing stainless steel – Taranaki’s ‘local stone’ – links each Lye’s innovations in kinetics and light as effectively as the region’s industrial innovation,” said studio principal Andrew Patterson. “By undertaking this we celebrate the fortunate present of his functions to Taranaki.”

Len Lye Museum by Pattersons Associates

Gaps among the folds in the facade let a controlled volume of light by means of, creating an internal space that the architect describes as becoming like a colonnade.


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These gaps develop varied shadows on the folded concrete walls within, which mimic the form of the metal skin.

Len Lye Museum by Pattersons Associates

“Light is drawn inside by means of the apertures in the colonnade, and these create moving light patterns on the walkway, maybe a form of passive kinetic architecture,” mentioned Patterson.

Len Lye Museum by Pattersons Associates

Behind the facade, the museum comprises a series of volumes connected by bridges. Galleries of various sizes and viewing rooms are distributed over four levels, and are interspersed with educational and archive spaces.

Len Lye Museum by Pattersons Associates

Numerous of the rooms open onto or overlook big voids in the building and are linked by catwalks or ramps, creating a complex spatial sequence for site visitors.

Len Lye Museum by Pattersons Associates

The developing adjoins the existing Govett-Brewster Artwork Gallery and will operate in tandem. The two buildings share a single entrance, as properly as workers and management facilities, an training suite, some exhibition spaces, a cinema, a shop and a cafe.

Len Lye Museum by Pattersons Associates

The museum is the first in New Zealand focused to a single artist. Although Lye spent most of his functioning life in New York, he is deemed a single of the country’s most important contemporary artists.

He was also a painter and author, and his performs feature in the everlasting collections of the Museum of Present day Artwork, the Art Institute of Chicago, and quite a few other significant institutions.

Len Lye Museum by Pattersons Associates

“We were thrilled to be offered this commission, Len Lye is an inspirational figure who bridged a multitude of inventive disciplines,” Patterson stated.

“This constructing is about amplifying his operate by physically representing the partnership that he identified amongst art and architecture.”

Len Lye Museum by Pattersons Associates

The museum was funded fully by the government in New Zealand.

Photography is by Patrick Reynolds.

Len Lye Museum by Pattersons AssociatesBasement floor plan Len Lye Museum by Pattersons AssociatesGround floor program Len Lye Museum by Pattersons AssociatesFirst floor program Len Lye Museum by Pattersons AssociatesSecond floor strategy Len Lye Museum by Pattersons AssociatesThird floor prepare Dezeen

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