One of Hawke‘s Bay’s landmark buildings, the Museum Theatre Gallery (MTG), opens its doors this month after a three-year-long, $18 million refurbishment. (Urbis visited some of the region’s creative hotspots earlier this year, including the then-under-construction MTG).
Led by Richard Daniels of Opus Architecture, the massive makeover project has restored the MTG Hawke’s Bay’s two existing buildings and integrated new architecture and features to bring the complex and its various collections into a new era. Interestingly, there are now several architectural eras and design influences at play in the one waterfront facility, which comprises three buildings. The restored Louis Hay building, originally designed in 1936 by local architect Louis Hay, is in keeping with the city’s Art Deco lineage and neighbouring icons, the Art Deco Trust building and Art Deco Masonic Hotel. The theatre, designed by architect Guy Natusch in 1977, conversely has retained its modernist aesthetic, while the new gallery wing and exterior façade designed by Daniels is light-filled and contemporary.
“We’ve found the perfect balance between old and new, restoring key features like the original museum’s entrance and incorporating them into the new building,” said MTG director Douglas Lloyd Jenkins.
Reuben Paterson’s House Invaders and If the Key Don’t Fit from the exhibition Architecture of the Heart, which stretches along the walkway of the front building, is a glittering highlight. Other new pieces include a Victorian tablecloth-inspired reception desk, created by Gisborne designer Katy Wallace and a mural by local artist Rakai Karaitiana, profile in Urbis issue 75.