The need for a new national museum and art gallery became apparent in the 1980s. A site was secured on Wellington's waterfront and a competition held for the museum's design. The judges favoured a proposal by the Auckland architects Jasmax, whose design expressed the bicultural brief of the museum. The building opened in 1998. It has proved a great success, but its bulky, graceless design led Wellingtonians to vote it their least-liked building in 2007.
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