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New horizons open to explore at Te Ara Atea

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Nationally significant taonga, cutting edge technology, a sensory space and the country's largest video projection wall will be among the gems to explore when Te Ara Ātea opens to the public. Te Ara Ātea will be open from Thursday 2 December.

Te Ara Ātea - meaning the unobstructed trail to the world and beyond - is the new 2,200 square metre multifunctional civic centre on Tennyson Street in Rolleston. The name was gifted to the community by Te Taumutu Rūnanga, which worked in partnership with the Council on the building and landscape.

Designed by Warren and Mahoney and built by Armitage Williams with internal fit out and displays supported and designed by exhibition and experience design agency Workshop e, Te Ara Ātea features a library, performance space, workshop, technology room, café and lounge and a wāhi tamariki for younger users.

The $22.69 million building sits within a specially designed landscape and will open onto the town square of the new town centre. The landscape includes a sensory space with outdoor instruments, a musical walk and water features. Food gardens, sculptures and art designed by local artists and schools also grace the landscape. The space is designed to appeal to all the senses, an accessible space for all residents and visitors.

It’s an exciting day for the district, Mayor Sam Broughton says.

"When we started planning this space in 2014 we wanted something special for the whole district to be proud of and enjoy. This really delivers. It’s a beautiful space and we can’t wait for people to be able to come and explore and be wowed by it. The unique and rich experiences contained in this space tell our collective stories - a marker of where we’ve been and our shared journey towards the future."

Te Taumutu RÅ«nanga Chairperson Liz Brown says the opening of the building is a celebration of our shared heritage and the forging of new trails.

"This facility is a true testament to the vision and dedication of many. Te Ara Ātea is an example of partnership in action. Working hand in hand with council we have created a facility that celebrates the best of both worlds and recognises the strength of working together for our communities."

The name Te Ara Ātea talks about the notion of trails. Within the new building and landscape, the established trails are reflected in the many local stories and history displays.

New trails are explored with the country’s largest video projection wall and the cutting edge photogrammetry and display technology, seen for the first time in Aotearoa, allowing people to get up close and personal to local taonga.

Te Ara Ātea will be open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday (Thursdays open to 8pm) and 10am to 4pm on weekends. There may be limits to entry under Covid-19 Alert Level 2 requirements or under the traffic light system.

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