Tāmaki Paenga Hira – Auckland War Memorial Museum – Grand Atrium Project

RDT Pacific was engaged in 2002 to manage every aspect of the Auckland War Memorial Museum Grand Atrium project, providing Project Director and Project Management services. The project increased the overall floor space by 60% and included a car park and two storage and curatorial basements beneath the stunning 700-tonne ground floor atrium, Te Ao Mārama.

Once the brief and the outline plan for the refurbishment were established, our overall role was to draw together the three key stakeholders in the project – Auckland War Memorial Museum, the design team and the contractor – to balance the integrity of the brief with the design and the budget.

Design and construction were procured under a Collaborative Working Alliance/Partnering contract which was tested by a rapid and significant escalation in building costs in the Auckland construction marketplace.

The project included complex design to infill the Courtyard Area behind the existing façade with some 9,000m² of collections exhibition, curatorial and public space over six levels plus a 6,000m² underground car park to the rear of the existing building. The award-winning Te Ao Mārama, the South Atrium has transformed the museum experience.

The result represents a design and engineering feat of the highest level.


Many challenges faced by the team were unique to New Zealand building practice, and those that weren’t, required innovative and collaborative practices across the entire team of consultants. RDT Pacific managed this complex process extremely well, looking always for cost-effective solutions without compromising the architect’s vision.
Dr T.L. Rodney Wilson, Director


  • 2007 Property Council of New Zealand Property Industry Awards - Supreme Award
  • 2007 Property Council of New Zealand Property Industry Awards, Special Purpose Award - Excellence
  • 2007 ACENZ Innovate NZ Gold Award (Structural Engineering)
  • 2021 New Zealand Architecture Awards – Public Architecture Winner
  • 2021 New Zealand Architecture Awards – Heritage Architecture Winner

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