New storage building for Akaroa Museum

22 February 2010

After years of planning and months of construction, the new Akaroa Museum storage building was officially opened at an event on Friday 19 February.

The launch was hosted by Councillor Claudia Reid, who says the provision of a quality storage space for collections is one of the fundamentals of good museum practice.

“You often hear people criticise museums for having collections ‘languishing in the storerooms’ as if this is a bad thing – but it actually allows them to rest away from damaging effects of environmental factors to be preserved and appreciated for longer.

“The new building is not only functional – it has also been very well designed and is a valuable addition to the township of Akaroa,” she says.

While the unveiling of the new storage building has been a great success, the project was not without a few hurdles along the way, including budget cuts that threatened the project’s construction.

However, museum and Council staff were relieved to be able to continue with plans after receiving a generous $200,000 contribution from the Canterbury Community Trust – one of the largest donations the trust has made in the Banks Peninsula area in recent years.

The building also had design challenges due to its location in the residential conservation zone of the significantly historic Akaroa.

Architect Alun Wilkie, of Wilkie + Bruce Architects, says this was a complex design project because the building needed to fit within the mostly nineteenth century residential streetscape.

“It was about creating a balance between an exterior to blend with its surroundings and an interior that is functional, spacious and modern,” he says.

The new storage space, which is linked to the existing museum, will enable the collection of precious objects for the community to treasure well into the future.

Check out Akaroa Museum on NZMuseums

Image: Back row, from left, Council staff Kent Wilson, Consents and Planning; Darren Moses, Project Manager; and Lynda Wallace, Museum Director. Front row, from left, Alun Wilkie, architect; Sonia Sparks, Wilkie + Bruce Architects; Claudia Reid, Councillor for Banks Peninsula; and Julie Statham, Corbel Construction.