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Architect For Colin McCahon House Site

An architect has been chosen for the development of a new studio and accommodation for artists at the site of Colin McCahon's house in Titirangi.

Pete Bossley, who was a leader in the team who designed Te Papa, has been selected for the project. He was one of a small group of prominent architects interviewed by a trust developing the site.

'We are very excited to be working with Pete Bossley,' said John Cranna, a spokesman for the law firm Hesketh Henry, who are part of the trust.

'Although he is probably best known for his work on Te Papa, Pete Bossley has a record of beautifully designed smaller structures which fit the land around them.'

'The site in French Bay, Titirangi, is untouched native bush, and Pete's sensitivity to the landscape particularly suits him for this work'.'

Colin McCahon's house was bought earlier this year by Waitakere City Council, who are also partners in the trust. Other trust members include arts patrons and philanthropists. Hesketh Henry are financing development of the architect's plans to sketch design stage, after which fund-raising will occur for the entire project, said Mr Cranna.

Waitakere City Council arts chief, Naomi McCleary, said that the trust will be working closely with Mr Bossley on the plans, and they hope to have sketches for the site completed early next year. She said that the existing structure, where McCahon lived with his family in the fifties, will be preserved and used to celebrate his life and work. This house, dubbed 'a bach in the bush' has been kept much as McCahon left it.

'The new building, which will be innovative - something really special - will be built on the site next door to McCahon's old house,' she said. 'Waitakere City has also purchased this adjoining site. The new building is intended to house a painter or other visual artist. The trust will apply to Creative New Zealand for funding for a scholarship to support the residency programme.'

Ms McCleary said, 'Together, the two structures will assist us to celebrate McCahon and what he has given the nation'.

ends

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