Feb 10, 2013

Regent Buildings

These are the Regent Buildings on the corner of Devon and Queen Streets in New Plymouth. As I was sketching this one I noticed that it said Regent Buildings (as in more than one) across the top and wondered why, since it just seems to be the one structure. I later found out that the building behind it (to the right in the sketch) used to be called the Regent Theatre. I think I accidentally drew both of the Regent Buildings!
Today, the Regent Theatre is now the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery which specializes in modern art from New Zealand and Pacific Rim countries. This other building (showing prominently in the sketch) is due to be demolished later this year. The Art Gallery starts construction on a large additional wing mostly dedicated to kinetic artist Len Lye. It is a modern design with a wavy stainless steel surface.
In a way, it won't be another case of tearing down an old building to put up something new. Since it's going to be physically connected to the previous Regent Theatre, it can be thought of as a severe renovation of the Regent Buildings and that they will continue to live on.

This is another sketch that I did just over a year ago from further down Devon Street. The Building that says Red Cross on the top is part of the planned gallery expansion but I don't believe it to be one of the Regent Buildings.