The award-winning revamp of Te Papa’s Toi Art Gallery was designed to increase exhibition space and give the gallery more prominence within the museum. For the gallery entrance, Warren and Mahoney Architects worked within the museum’s existing footprint to bring the gallery closer to the centre of the museum with a striking super-sized render wall.
“We wanted to create a dynamic, three-dimensional gesture which would help to draw people into the gallery,” explains Adam Parkes, Project Architect, Warren and Mahoney. “We wanted the form to catch people’s eye from various vantage points within the museum. The finish of the exterior needed to be clean and pure, as if the interior walls of the gallery were being turned inside out.”
To create this look, the Warren and Mahoney team explored various materials, ultimately opting for a render system by Sto. “We landed on Sto’s interior render system for its versatility around curves, durability, tactility and it’s cost effectiveness when compared to other enduring systems,” says Adam.
Sto assisted throughout the specification process, providing samples to help the architects determine the right trowelling effect and colour tint for the render under the gallery lights. After careful consideration, StoLook Marmorino in a Sea Fog tint was chosen, with a protective coating of StoLook Wax.
StoLook Marmorino is a pre-mixed, lime-based render that is highly versatile, robust and impact-resistant. The render is hand-applied in thin layers to produce a smooth surface with undulating depth and a polished finish. It is just one of many attractive and eco-friendly render finishes available as part of Sto’s Interior Render System range.
A single Sto Contractor, Sean Andersen from Andersen’s Ltd, worked to hand-apply over 500m² of render work for the curving entrance area. “The hand trowelled finish for the render provided a unique handcrafted effect, reflecting the content of the gallery,” says Adam. “The wax finish that Sto provided gave us confidence it could be cleaned and repairable for a long time.”
The finished wall effectively draws attention to the gallery, while providing a calming quality within the visually busy museum environment. The gallery has already reported an increase in visitor numbers.
“We’re really happy with the end result,” says Adam. “The render provided a discrete and timeless finish which had a luminous and tactile quality. I’ve been back several times to experience the gallery, and the facade is standing up very well to the public interaction. People enjoy walking up to the surface and running their hands across it.”
Warren and Mahoney were recently awarded a Wellington NZIA Public Architecture award for their work on the project.
Architect: Warren and Mahoney
Sto Contractor: Andersens Ltd
Sto interior render system: StoLook Marmorino, StoLook Wax and Sto Putzgrund primer