The Pavilion

The Pavilion 2019, concept image, Moller Architects

The Pavilion 2019, concept image, Moller Architects


A striking 12 metre tall bamboo structure by Moller Architects and artist Areez Katki will welcome visitors to next year’s Sculpture on the Gulf (SOTG) on Waiheke Island.

The design was considered the most outstanding proposal of 19 magnificent submissions by talented New Zealand architects, for the Architectual Pavilion for the biennial event, which opens on March 1, 2019.

Named ‘Tall Hut’, the pavilion will be erected on land under the stewardship of Ngāti Paoa near the Matiatia Ferry Terminal. The pavilion will be draped in fabric panels decorated in motifs hand-embroidered by artist Areez Katki.

“We’re delighted that Sculpture on the Gulf 2019 will be anchored by such an iconic temporary structure,” says SOTG Gateway Pavilion jury chairman Jonathan Rutherfurd Best. “The jury chose ‘Tall Hut’ because it represents such an imaginative fusion of art and architecture, and will be an unmissable beacon during the day and at night that welcomes people to Waiheke Island and to the Sculpture on the Gulf event.”

Following the critically acclaimed launch in 2017 of an inaugural Architectural Pavilion concept – featuring a dramatic rendering by Stevens Lawson Architects that was originally designed for the Venice Architecture Biennale – the SOTG board created an open competition to architects and artists to design a concept to feature at the Matiatia gateway to the biennial exhibition.

Craig Moller of Moller Architects – the firm that designed Auckland’s Sky Tower, Viaduct Convention Centre and ASB Waterfront Theatre, among other buildings – says the winning structure references volcanic shapes and the traditional construction techniques of the Pacific, and makes an eye-catching frame for what he calls the “protective shawl” featuring Katki’s work.

“We’re delighted about the opportunity to collaborate with Areez to design this pavilion,” says Moller. “There’s so much freedom to a temporary structure, so it’s a delight to explore these imaginative possibilities with an artistic partner.”

Artist Areez Katki plans to used custom-dyed jute and nettle rope to hand-embroider motifs inspired by Waiheke Island’s topography onto the large fabric panels that will form the pavilion’s outer skin. Katki, a Persian-born fabric artist, has an artistic practice that ranges from the creation of hand-stitched knitwear and apparel to the development of larger textile-based works.

Unitec, a strategic partner in the competition, will incorporate the Pavilion into their course syllabus and their architecture and engineering students will build the structure.

In the open call for entries, architects were asked to team up with artists to develop joint proposals. “We were stunned by the overall quality of entries to the competition, and thank all the artists and architects for their efforts,” Rutherfurd Best says.

“We’re now looking forward to completing fundraising and getting the pavilion built to welcome the tens of thousands of people who’ll attend Sculpture on the Gulf 2019. We love the competition’s dedication not only to creativity and artistry but also to the education of Unitec’s students.”

The Pavilion will be open for the duration of the SOTG festival, which runs from March 1 until March 24, 2019.

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