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Auckland Museum Supreme Winner At Interior Awards

Auckland Museum’s redeveloped South Atrium, Te Ao Mārama, has been lauded by Architecture NZ magazine at the annual Interior Awards last night. Auckland Museum and its architects, Jasmax (in partnership with FJMT and designTRIBE) and Salmond Reed as Heritage Architects won the Civic Award and was also announced as the Supreme Winner. 

“This acknowledgement reflects the collaborative effort between Auckland Museum and our multi-disciplinary design team to deliver new infrastructure designed to enhance the Museum’s functionality, combining mana whenua welcome, cultural orientation and generous manaakitanga,” says Dr David Gaimster, Chief Executive of Auckland War Memorial Museum. “Te Ao Marama resolves the tensions between the Museum’s monumental heritage architecture and its contemporary responsibility to social inclusion and diverse communities of interest, the Museum building has been described in Architecture NZ as ‘transformed into a space for decolonisation to begin’.”

The Interior Awards is the only awards programme of its kind in New Zealand with the sole focus of celebrating New Zealand-designed projects that push the limits of interior and spatial design as well as the talented designers and teams that conceptualise and develop these ideas.

Interior editor of Architecture NZ and convenor of the jury, Amanda Harkness said, “What was heartening to see were projects reclaiming spaces originally built for other uses, the inclusion of natural, sustainable materials, all carefully detailed and assembled, and the rise of spaces which echo the language and culture of Aotearoa.” She said the projects which prevailed this year amongst the strong line up were those that demonstrated collaboration, authenticity, craftsmanship and inclusiveness.

This aspiration is especially true for the Civic Award winner.

“The intent for these interiors was to bring a unifying experience which transcends eras, intuitively guiding the visitor through the museum and its galleries” says Project Architect, Marianne Riley from the architectural joint venture of Jasmax with FJMT and design Tribe. “Materials were assessed for their robustness and also their ability to patina in areas of high public use. Selections such as bronze joinery, terrazzo flooring, tawa and Tasmanian blackwood veneers were deliberately chosen to pay homage to the Museum’s origins, materiality, and its more recent additions – such as the Fijian kauri clad tanoa bowl dating from 2006” adds Riley.

The newly renovated Te Ao Mārama South Atrium also houses Hokohoko, the Museum Store, and the Tuitui Café & Bistro which was awarded in the Hospitality category of the Auckland Architecture Awards last month.

More than 300,000 visitors have experienced the Te Ao Mārama South Atrium hospitality precinct since it opened to the public on 5 December 2020.


NZIA Auckland Architecture Awards’ Judges Citations

Te Ao Mārama - Winner of Civic Award

For more stories about Auckland Museum’s Transformation, visit:

For more information, interviews or images contact:
Bex Martelletti, Publicist 
Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum | +64 21 955 362

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About the Interior Awards

The Interior Awards recognise excellence in interior architecture and interior design across nine award categories – retail, hospitality, healthcare and wellness, civic, workplace (over 1000m2 and up to 1000m2), residential, residential kitchen, and emerging design professional.


Auckland War Memorial Museum is one of New Zealand's first museums and is free for Aucklanders. The Museum tells the story of New Zealand, its place in the Pacific and its people. The Museum is a war memorial for the province of Auckland and holds one of New Zealand's top three heritage libraries.

It has pre-eminent Māori and Pacific collections, significant natural history resources and major social and military history collections, as well as decorative arts and pictorial collections.

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