7 May 2021

Gold-painted cupola on Hundertwasser centre nearly complete

From Checkpoint, 5:55 pm on 7 May 2021

Whangārei's highly anticipated Hundertwasser Art Centre is a step closer to completion with the golden globe which will sit atop the building nearly finished.

Real gold has been sent over from Italy to be applied by hand to the giant cupola, which those working on the project say will be the jewel in the crown of the Hundertwasser building.

The $33 million centre is due to open in December and project manager Bronson Brown said the cupola would be the cherry on top.

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A model of the Hundertwasser Art Centre. Photo: Supplied

"It's going to be absolutely fantastic, this is going to be one part of the dome - there is a black skirt which goes under it which sits at about 7.5m wide, it's going to look incredible."

But the work hasn't been cheap - or easy - to get done.

The gold leaf has been sent from Italy and cost around $90,000 and is being applied by hand by Vern Love who is applying 10,000 gold sheets to the giant aluminium structure which cost around $500,000.

The cupola will sit around 24 metres above the ground and will be barged down the Hātea river when it is installed next month.

The centre is the world's last authentic building by the late Austrian-born artist and architect, who spent most of his last 30 years living in Northland.