The Galleria provides an important and attractive thoroughfare through Parliament House. It is four storeys high, 30 metres long, and five metres wide. A similar area on the other side of Parliament House forms a large conservatory that contains a collection of native New Zealand ferns.
The Galleria in history
The Galleria is reclaimed space. It was created as part of the 1992–1995 Parliament House refurbishments when an open courtyard (which extended into the basement and underground car park) was enclosed and upgraded.
The Galleria today
The Galleria provides a thoroughfare through Parliament House.
Its walls are lined with marble and granite in a similar style to the outside of Parliament House. On the floor, three types of stone form a geometric design that imitates the pattern of the steel trusses that hang above. A magnificent curved staircase links the lower and upper levels.
Artwork in the Galleria
‘These are Matters of Pride’ is a multi-media artwork designed by Malcolm Harrison. This artwork was commissioned for the Galleria space and installed in 1996.
The artist’s creative concept for the artwork was the creation of the land of New Zealand, the sky above us, the sea around us, and the migration of Polynesian peoples crossing the sea to live here.
The artwork features a large ‘mooring’ stone on the Galleria floor that links symbolically to the elements suspended above. Over 50 brightly coloured ribbons are attached to the stone. These were contributed to the artwork by some of the different ethnic groups that make up New Zealand today.