Sarjeant Gallery Whanganui | Redevelopment – Whanaketanga
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Redevelopment – Whanaketanga

Artist's Impression, Warren & Mahoney Architects

Artist’s Impression, Warren & Mahoney Architects

The redevelopment project

The Gallery Redevelopment Project will preserve the original building in Queen’s Park that opened in 1919, protect the Gallery’s nationally-important collection and provide increased access to all parts of the collection. The project will be a partnership between Whanganui District Council, Whanganui Iwi, central Government and donors and sponsors both large and small. The redevelopment will be the largest cultural project undertaken in Whanganui since the building of the original Sarjeant Gallery in 1917-1919.

The funding breakdown as at July 2017 summarised in round terms

What will it cost and where will the money come from?

The Gallery Redevelopment project will cost $34.9 million. The Whanganui District Council’s contribution is around $5 million. The cost of the developed design work has been funded from the Whanganui District Council contribution supported by funding from Powerco Wanganui Trust and the Sarjeant Gallery Trust. The design work is included in the total project cost. The rest of the funding will come from external sources: Government; Lottery; trusts; and corporate and individual philanthropy. A detailed  Revenue Generation Strategy outlines the plan, preferred sources of funding and timing for applications.

Basement storage at the Sarjeant Gallery.

Basement storage at the Sarjeant Gallery.

Why is the Redevelopment necessary?

The Sarjeant Gallery is considered an earthquake risk meeting only 5% of the current New Zealand Building Standard. Until recently the collections were mainly stored in the Gallery basement. As well as the risk posed by earthquake collapse, the basement was not designed as a storage space for works of art with difficult access and no environmental or temperature control. Changes in temperature can lead to cracking, flaking and warping of works which is very expensive to repair. The absence of environmental or temperature controls in the Gallery spaces also mean the Sarjeant was unable to attract national and international touring exhibitions because it failed to meet stringent requirements.

The Gallery's new collection storage system upstairs at 38 Taupo Quay

The Gallery’s new collection storage system upstairs at 38 Taupo Quay

A Temporary Solution

To protect public, staff and the collection, the Gallery relocated in the first quarter of 2014 to a temporary home at Sarjeant on the Quay, 38 Taupō Quay, Whanganui, assisted by funding from the Lottery Grants Board.  The Gallery’s exhibition spaces are limited and also lack environmental control.

The Plan

The redevelopment plan will create purpose-built storage facilities to the north of the existing domed Gallery together with additional exhibition space, education facilities and events space. This will enable more of the permanent collection to be seen than is possible at present as well as looking after the collection for the future. The original Sarjeant Gallery will be strengthened against the risk of earthquakes through the use of base isolation. At the same time the environment throughout the public and storage spaces will be controlled to preserve collections on display and allow major touring exhibitions to come to Whanganui.

How You Can Help Us

There are a number of ways that you can support the project at all levels from offering modest donations to making more substantial contributions.