A good deal of head scratching and intricate work has been going on behind a builders' wrap at Whangarei's Town Basin.

And Te Kakano, the structure acting as a practice run for the Hundertwasser Art Centre, will be unveiled in just over a month.

Project manager Greg Guy says the public will be in for a "nice surprise" when they see the finished koru-shaped building, a public artwork housing a seating area and lookout over the Town Basin.

Renowned Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser shunned straight lines and Te Kakano was a chance for about 50 tradespeople to perfect the techniques necessary for the main Hundertwasser Art Centre that will be built over the old Northland Harbour Board building.


The Te Kakano build had been "very challenging and complicated for everyone involved", Mr Guy said.

"We have very clever people involved. There's been a huge effort from every tradesperson.
"It'll be pretty special when it's finished - and we're getting there."

Te Kakano is going up on a patch of grass across the service lane from the old Northland Harbour Board building.

All going well for fundraisers, this building will be transformed into the Hundertwasser Art Centre come June next year, with $11.1 million of the $16.25 million required raised so far.

The $300,000 Te Kakano build kicked off in May and was expected to wind up at the end of next month, with an official opening in October.

Hundertwasser Foundation representative Richard Smart said a "folly" construction such as Te Kakano was a requirement for every Hundertwasser building.

"The proviso is that all the elements of the main build are worked into this. Then when this is finished the architects can come over from Germany ... They can look at this and say you've done this bit wrong, this bit right, and so on."

An exhibition currently showing at Rust Ave's Shutter Room featured more than 60 photographs inspired by Hundertwasser's philosophy.

This runs until this Saturday, with all photos available in exchange for a minimum $10 donation to the project.