Lyttelton Museum

Lyttelton Museum London Street View Artist Impression by Alexandra Smith Warren and Mahoney email file
Lyttelton Museum London Street View Artist Impression by Alexandra Smith Warren and Mahoney email file

The purpose of the new museum is to provide a place to actively share, celebrate and preserve the taonga and stories of Lyttelton township and Te Whakaraupō/ the Harbour for the benefit of the whole community and its visitors.

The museum will be a place where stories are brought to life. A place to share, celebrate, tell, explore, think and learn. It will include a mixture of permanent exhibits and spaces which are flexible in arrangement and interchangeable so that the building can adapt to future exhibitions and community use.

The stories will be drawn from the area within which it is located. This strong connection to the surrounding context provided a unique design opportunity for the building form and window view shafts to be directed towards important sites and landscape features where historic events took place, and in many cases can still be visited. This became the central design idea for the museum - an inside-out museum. The concept proposes a range of external exhibitions be located at various sites of significance around Lyttelton and Te Whakaraupō. The museum is a starting place to understand and explore the rich cultural history of the place and its people.

The architectural expression is an opportunity to create an iconic image which will attract both locals and visitors alike.

The intent is for this project to be as sustainable as practicably possible within the budget. Priorities include being low cost to operate, energy efficient, long-lasting, low maintenance and healthy materials and use passive environmental controls where possible.

Conversations with Te Haup o Ngāti Wheke and local artist Nathan Pohio have informed the design. We want the museum to support appropriate tikanga so that it can be a place entrusted to hold and share stories and taonga of mana whenua for the benefit of the whole community. Te Hapu o Ngāti Wheke have also put forward a name in te reo Maori.

We believe this project will be another important catalyst for the regeneration of Lyttelton township post-earthquake.