Christchurch Art Gallery

Christchurch Art Gallery (known locally as "Te Puna o Waiwhetu" ) opened in May 2003 in the heart of the city's cultural precinct. Now the largest art institution in New Zealand's South Island, the gallery is home to one of the country's most important public art collections.

In 1998, the international design competition for this important civic building was won by The Buchan Group, one of the largest architectural practices in Australasia. Their iconic, NZ$47.5 million structure features two floors of exhibition space, two educational activity areas, an auditorium, a café and wine bar, two retail outlets, a sculpture garden and underground parking.


Holcim New Zealand, a major sponsor of the project, supplied cement for the pre-cast and in-situ concrete, needed for load-bearing walls and ceilings, to exacting specifications. The gallery temperature must remain between 20-22°C, with an ideal humidity level of 52%, so to help keep these constant, the concrete gallery walls are between 300mm and 600mm thick.

"Today, the Art Gallery is one of New Zealand's most remarkable structures. The building addresses three - often conflicting - considerations under one roof: a rewarding experience for the visitor, flexible exhibition options for the collection, and an efficient work environment for the members of our staff." Tony Preston, Director, Christchurch Art Gallery