The Len Lye Centre at Govett-Brewster Gallery. © Patrick Reynolds

Len Lye Centre: a remarkable building for a remarkable artist


View the map

TAP FOR MORE INFO:

The legendary Len Lye was a remarkable New Zealand artist, which is saying something in a country that has given us Kiri Te Kanawa, James K Baxter, Janet Frame and Neil Finn, for starters.

A man who crossed multiple disciplines with ease, taking in film, sculpting, painting and poetry (deep breath) it is fitting that a visionary space has been created to house some of his fantastic works. And with Len Lye, space is key: his kinetic sculptures need room to breathe and move.

This eponymous centre does that, and in a style as distinctive, innovative and inspiring as the man himself. Even if you’ve travelled the world over, even if you have the most jaded architectural eyes, you’ll be impressed by this building. It being a finalist in the World Architecture Festival Awards is an independent endorsement of that view, and from whatever viewpoint – inside, outside, near or far – it’s a stunner.

The shimmering stainless steel exterior reflects natural Taranaki light in an ever-changing, continually inspiring way, and with an energy and sense of movement that itself reflects Lye’s myriad works. Many are housed within, and if the notion of an entire space being devoted to a single artist raised concerns in your mind about sameness, remember that it’s the very singular but prolific Lye on show here.

From batik to books, sketches to sculpture and beyond, what has been achieved here is a remarkable testament to not just Lye, but art in all its forms.

There’s a 62-seat cinema inside too, showcasing not just Lye’s output but other arthouse productions, providing a regional home for an exciting annual film festival as well. Indeed, it shows that great art and superb ways of showcasing it live beyond the major urban centres; the Len Lye Centre provides another excuse (like you need it!) to visit the multi-faceted Taranaki region.

Maybe one day I could be designing something like this 💭 #lenlye @pattersonassociates

A post shared by Sulin Wang (@soupalmighty) on Mar 13, 2018 at 12:21pm PDT

Explore more... 


Be the first to comment on this page. You cannot post comments until you have logged in. Please log in or register if you don't have an account.

More stories like this

Find out more

Natural attractions

Mount Taranaki: picture-perfect peak

Taranaki is about as close as you can get to the ideal of volcanic beauty – almost perfectly round, its nearly symmetrical cone rising to a pointed summit, with a single crater. Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Natural attractions

New Plymouth’s Coastal Walkway: welcome to Taradise

New Plymouth has grown into a funky little city with the view from just about everywhere dominated by Taranaki’s paternal presence. Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Events and festivals

WOMAD: a world of music, art and dance

New Plymouth has hosted WOMAD since 2005. And, to use a quaint and formal term, it goes off.  Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Natural attractions

New Plymouth's Coastal Walkway

The Coastal Walkway is a 12km journey to add to your own journey, a promenade par excellence that hugs the sea and grabs your senses all way along the New Plymouth coastline. Read the story . . . 

Where to stay in New Plymouth

From $46
New Plymouth TOP 10 Holiday Park Visit website

Welcome to the only holiday park in New Plymouth with sauna, spa, heated swimming pool, games room, TV lounge and wireless internet access. . . . More . . . 

From $46

Book now

Book now

From $110
Urenui Bay Motel

Under new management. Your hosts are Kerri, Aussie, John and Kara.Our goal is to make your stay as pleasant and enjoyable as is humanly possible. . . . More . . . 

From $110
YHA New Plymouth, Sunflower Lodge

YHA New Plymouth, Sunflower Lodge . . . More . . . 

Book now

Book now

From $80
Sentry Hill Motel Visit website

"Hideaway on the Highway." Lovely quiet surroundings in a rural setting. Some rooms with mountain or ocean views. Everything in one place. . . . More . . . 

From $80