The Museum of Oceanic Art in Viatape on the unique Tahitian Island of Bora Bora is intended to display one of the largest private collections of Oceanic Artifacts and collections from throughout the Pacific and to have supporting commercial boutiques, cafes, restaurants and an aquarium that will be housed in a sustainably designed series of buildings. Understanding the special requirements of collecting, preserving and show-casing ancient artefacts in a public environment was required, together with maximising visitor experiences.
The aesthetic is a modern interpretation of the Papua New Guinean ‘Men’s House’, a tall ceremonial building having a strong presence and grandeur. The site sits below Mt Pahia and acts as a solid backdrop. The form is also inspired by the natural cooling effect developed through the ‘venturii effect’ as a result of this uniquely shaped ‘A-frame’ building.
The site and building is set up directly opposite the wharf and the main visitor gateway to the heart of Vaitape. The site opens up into a welcoming courtyard with a supporting ‘active’ frontage to the museum and facilities, with passive cooling and shading techniques used within the design.