Project Background

Aigantighe Art Gallery Redevelopment

The Aigantighe Art Gallery Redevelopment is a once in a generation project that will deliver a revitalised historic building, a new purpose built gallery, and a refreshed public art garden – bringing together art, architecture and landscaping in spectacular new ways. We would like to share with you our vision and provide you with an update on the redevelopment.

Stage 1 - Heritage House Gallery

Following a seismic assessment, it was found that the Heritage House Gallery was earthquake prone and of very high seismic risk relative to a new building. The assessment identified the following critical structural weaknesses:

  • Chimney unreinforced masonry with some cracking present, with the possibility that the chimney could topple onto an egress route, in this case the emergency exit stairs.
  • Unreinforced masonry walls double wythe with no ties.  These walls are likely to collapse under face loads.
  • No floor and roof diaphragms.
  • Connections between walls and floors/ceilings have low strength and resilience (for example unrestrained floor beams).
  • Gables unrestrained on upper level.
  • There is potential pounding of the east wall against the 1978 concrete extension, resulting in damage.

To ensure public and staff safety the Heritage House Gallery was closed in March 2017 and all artworks displayed in the Heritage House Gallery were placed in storage. In October 2020, the Timaru District Council agreed to proceed with the project to seismically strengthen and restore the Heritage House Gallery.

Stage 2 - 1978/1995 Extension

In 2020 a feasibility study was undertaken and provided a range of options to address the issues facing the 1978/1995 extensions. After extensive consultation on the options, in July 2021 the Timaru District Council adopted for a full redevelopment of the Aigantighe Art Gallery’s 1978/1995 extensions (costing $9.8m). This will see the demolition of the extensions and the construction of a fit for purpose building – with increased collection storage, a new connection with the Heritage House Gallery, increased exhibition space, a multi-functional education and community space and increased work areas for staff.