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Work is almost complete on the transformation of a historic North Dunedin landmark into an exhibition and function space for Otago Museum.
Formerly the North Dunedin Post Office and the Otago Art Society rooms, the historic bluestone building at the corner of Albany St and Great King St (one way North) has undergone a $1.6 million redevelopment during the past six months. It is now called the H. D. Skinner Annexe - named after a pre-eminent former director of the Otago Museum.
On the outside, the building remains essentially unchanged - apart from the addition of a glass atrium on the North side. However, the inside has been completely transformed to become modern exhibition and function spaces.
''In this process, we have tried to make responsible decisions on how we can best improve the functionality of the building,'' Otago Museum director of Collections, Research and Experience Clare Wilson said.
The annexe needed to be a sustainable, usable space for the remaining 30 years of the museum's lease, she said.
Otago Museum had invested $1.3 million of its own funds in the project, with the remainder of the money coming through donations.
The redeveloped building, designed by architect John McCoy and constructed by Naylor Love, now boasts a lift, a glassed-in atrium, new toilets, upgraded information technology capability, several exhibition spaces, and a range of function and meeting spaces.
It will also have a street-level coffee window, dubbed the ''Roast Office'', where passers-by will be able to buy take-away coffee.
''The work we have done has maintained the character of the building, while also reflecting the Otago Museum style,'' Ms Wilson said.
A landscaping plan has been approved for the exterior of the building and will be completed soon.