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Len Lye Centre

Archicad 20’s shimmering signature building, the Len Lye Centre, is New Zealand’s only single artist museum. Its design is deeply influenced by the life, ideas, writings and work of the famous New Zealand Kinetic Artist, Len Lye.



New Plymouth, New Zealand

Nemetschek Group Brands



Pattersons, Auckland, New Zealand

Technology used


A journey through light

The Len Lye Centre is designed to fulfil multiple requirements. It needed to integrate with a proposed new art and cultural
precinct, which links through to the commercial heart of the city. It also needed to seamlessly merge with an existing heritage Art Gallery facility in a converted movie theater. The finished building introduces new gallery spaces, education studios, a 62 seat cinema, the Len Lye Archive and a dedicated motor room for his kinetic works. The resulting space is reverential, creating a sensory experience from light as a ‘temple’ for art.

Archicad model of the
Len Lye Centre.

Imported MEP and structural data
of the Len Lye Centre in Archicad.

Longitudinal section of the project.

Images courtesy of
Patterson Associates ©


The role of OPEN BIM in the design and construction

Pattersons recognized early on the importance of a strong OPEN BIM foundation for their design and construction workflows.
OPEN BIM was fundamental in working out the complex geometry of the building in three dimensions, ensuring a seamless transition between consultants from design to manufacture.

Andrew Patterson, Director

BIM is a tool that we use to communicate with stakeholders, with the builders, with everybody connected to the project. It’s a leadership tool that enables us to deliver the project.

Value management with Archicad

An art gallery project always requires a highly-serviced environment, resulting in very high MEP – mainly HVAC – costs, which can be as high as 25% of the total building cost. Archicad was indispensable when Pattersons value-managed the project due to funding difficulties they were able to coordinate the various HVAC engineers and sub-consultants to reduce that cost significantly just by the way the ducting worked through the building.

BIMx screenshots of the
Len Lye Centre Hypermodel

Image courtesy of Patterson Associates ©

Shane Taylor BIM Manager, Pattersons speaking about BIMx

This is a fantastic tool that openly and interactively explores 3D Building Information
Models on mobile devices. It saves us from having to carry big paper files to the site!

BIMx on the construction site

Since the Len Lye Centre was fully modeled, it was an easy and natural step to generate a BIMx model from it containing all the 2D information available in the model. Patterson Associates has used BIMx since the day it first came on the market.