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New Zealand Museum Dedicated To Kinetic Artist Boasts Reflective Exterior Design

Len Lye Museum, New Zealand, Pattersons Associates, Dezeen, Photography Patrick Reynolds
Photography ©Patrick Reynolds

The Len Lye Museum in New Zealand boasts a fully reflective stainless steel façade. Artist Len Lye was renowned for his multimedia and kinetic art pieces in which the museum’s exterior design pays homage to. The reflective nature of the exterior was created using locally sourced steel, which was folded to produce the undulating design. Designed by Pattersons Associates, the façade mirrors its surroundings offering a funhouse effect.

Len Lye Museum, New Zealand, Pattersons Associates, Dezeen, Photography Patrick Reynolds
Photography ©Patrick Reynolds

The studio’s principal Andrew Patterson describes, “The shimmering, iridescent colonnade facade, manufactured locally using stainless steel – Taranaki’s ‘local stone’ – links both Lye’s innovations in kinetics and light as well as the region’s industrial innovation.”

Len Lye Museum, New Zealand, Pattersons Associates, Dezeen, Photography Patrick Reynolds
Photography ©Patrick Reynolds

The designers created a series of gaps throughout the exterior to allow light to penetrate. The interior mimics the fluidity of the exterior but with folded concrete. The concrete folds create interplay with both light and shadow, another kinetic ode to the artist.

Len Lye Museum, New Zealand, Pattersons Associates, Dezeen, Photography Patrick Reynolds
Photography ©Patrick Reynolds

“Light is drawn inside through the apertures in the colonnade, and these create moving light patterns on the walkway, perhaps a form of passive kinetic architecture,” Patterson further describes.

Len Lye Museum, New Zealand, Pattersons Associates, Dezeen, Photography Patrick Reynolds
Photography ©Patrick Reynolds

Bridging the gap between art and architecture, the building features a series of open voids connected by ramps and bridges. The minimalistic nature of the interior with its exceptionally high ceilings creates added dimensionality and allows the art to be highlighted without distraction.

This museum is the first in New Zealand to be dedicated to one artist. Lye is considered “one of the country’s most important contemporary artists,” editors at Dezeen describe.

Information courtesy of Dezeen
Photography © Patrick Reynolds

DISCLAIMER: The following project does not feature Alucobond® aluminum composite material (ACM). The “Industry (Architecture)” section of our blog focuses on extraordinary architectural works from around the world. While this project does not feature our ACM, we have included comparable samples to what was used in the project above.

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