Hundertwasser Art Centre – Whangārei

Whangarei Art Museum Trust
Project description
A once in a lifetime community project that was extremely complex from both a technical and management point of view.

“The Hundertwasser is a once in a lifetime community project that was extremely complex from both a technical and management point of view. The project has the potential to transform Whangarei into a tourist destination for national and international travellers.”

Kelly Haora

Originally conceived nearly 30 years ago by world renowned artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, the building was originally planned to refurbish the old town harbour board building. Having gone through periods of support the project was shelved by the council before the decision was overturned by community referendum. After securing funding from individuals, local businesses, and central government, the project broke ground in June 2018. The complex structure required significant engineering work to accommodate the 1200 square-meter afforested roof top, the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

The design required significant attention to detail and coordination, with uneven walls, floors, and steps all a requirement of Hundertwasser’s original design philosophy. Often conflicting with the building code, engineering standards and general construction practices the project required lateral thinking and coordinated efforts from the design and construction team managed by Scope.

The project had several interested parties who often conflicted, with the aesthetic of the building always kept a priority it required careful management to ensure critical stakeholders were onboard for the entire journey.

After three and a half years the building was finally completed in November of 202. A small army providing all the labour for the tiled and plastered façade, interior and flooring. Nearly all technical and construction expertise and labour were sourced locally, a true testament to the capacity and capability of the industry in Whangarei.

The Scope team managed the build contract and design, working closely with the Client, external contributors, and the Northland-based main contractor. We managed the project through the design phases to completion.

Service detail

Project Management

Work closely with the main contractor, client, consultants and external Hundertwasser representatives.

Design Management

Manage the design through stages to construction completion.

Contract Management

Establishing and managing the contract between the client and main contractor.

Programme Management

Programme management and reporting throughout the project.


2022 New Zealand Commercial Project Awards-Special Award
2022 New Zealand Commercial Project Awards- Tourism and Leisure

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