Puke Ariki

Puke Ariki is "[s]ited in New Plymouth, between the majestic Mount Taranaki and the wild Tasman Sea, Puke Ariki is a place of wonder, of excitement, of discovery and adventure." (website)

Puke Ariki was formed in the 1990s with the joining of the Taranaki Museum and New Plymouth Public Library in a single building. The local firm Boon Goldsmith Bhaskar (Team Architecture) were commissioned with retrofitting the 1960 War Memorial building, adding a further 5000m2 of museum space. It was at this time that the Michael Smither mural was lost.

Opened in 2003, the retrofit design saw the older War Memorial building largely retained. This now houses the library, archives, and research centre and connects via a second floor airbridge to the new building which accomodates the museum, iSite information centre, cafe, and restaurant.

The 1960 War Memorial building was also a combined library, museum, and war memorial sited on King, Brougham, and Ariki Streets. Designed by firm Taylor and Collins the four-story building opened on 14 July 1960. The War Memorial Hall filled the top story, with the Taranaki Museum on the third. The library filled the mezzanine and ground floors. One wing was occupied for a time by the North Taranaki Society for Arts.

E. Mervyn Taylor's untitled, etched glass mural of 1960, was commissioned with the design of the War Memorial building.

See also:

Michael Smither, 'Harmonic Mural' (1979), New Plymouth War Memorial Hall & City Library, CBD, Ngāmotu New Plymouth

Image: courtesy Govett-Brewster Art Gallery