This page is not a current Christchurch City Council document. Please read our disclaimer.

Christchurch City Council Media Release 25 November 1998

Christchurch Art Gallery Project

Background Briefing

Christchurch's community-owned art collection is one of the most significant public collections in New Zealand. It consists of over 4,500 works, including paintings, prints, drawings, photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass and textiles.

The current gallery is only large enough to show 10 percent of these works at any one time.

Many large international art exhibitions tend to bypass Christchurch because of the gallery's limited size and facilities.

Research shows that 46% of all international visitors go to a museum or art gallery. An attraction that encourages them to stay longer and spend more has obvious benefits, particularly set within the city's unique cultural precinct of Museum, Botanic Gardens, Arts Centre, Town Hall, theatres, hotels and restaurants, which already combine to form one of Christchurch's most important visitor attractions.

The need for a new gallery was first recommended by international art museum consultants as a matter of urgency in 1969.

Agreement on a suitable location for a new gallery was finally reached in 1996, thanks in part to additional funds forthcoming from The Community Trust, and the site on Worcester Boulevard was purchased. Fundraising has proceeded since then.


Project Costs

The cost for the new art gallery and public car park project is $35.8m ($29.3m and $6.5m respectively) in 1996 dollars which when adjusted for inflation equates to $39.2m at the time of completion in 2003. It is this latter figure which is contained in the 1998 Annual Plan.

The land for the new art gallery, situated on Worcester Boulevard was purchased in 1996 for $9.6m with a generous contribution of $3.8m from The Community Trust (then Trust Bank Canterbury Community Trust).


Timeline as at November 1998


25 November Winning architectural design announced

Consultants: The process of selecting consultants in the following areas will be completed mid December: structural and civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, fire engineering, traffic engineering and resource consents. The appointment of Rawlinsons, as the project's quantity surveyors was made in October to assist the stage two finalists ensure their designs were within budget


January - May The architect and consultant team will prepare a concept design report and will confirm the budget

May The concept design report and budget will be reported to Council for approval

June to June 2000 Following Council approval, detailed design and contract documentation will be prepared


July - August Tendering of contractual work followed by Council approval

September Construction of the art gallery and public car park commences


September Construction completed and fit out commences


February/March Christchurch Art Gallery opens to the public

Christchurch Art Gallery ~ Media Releases index

This page is not a current Christchurch City Council document. Please read our disclaimer.
© Christchurch City Council, Christchurch, New Zealand | Contact the Council