Kia ora New Central Library

Kia ora. Take a look at your New Central Library.
New Central Library

Here is some information from today’s media release (Thursday 26 March 2015):

Christchurch City Council today agreed to call for expressions of interest from contractors to build a new library of about 9,850 m2 at a total cost of up to $85 million.

Along with digital, specialist and print collections the Central Library will have a cafe, 200-seat community arena, exhibition space, outdoor terraces, and areas for families, children and youth.

Libraries and Information Manager Carolyn Robertson says the New Central Library facilities and lay out are based on 2,400 ideas from residents collected during last year’s Your Library, Your Voice campaign.

Through clever design we’ll provide the mix of family-friendly areas and quiet places people told us they wanted. The New Central Library will be able to offer programmes that were never possible in our old building. We’ll have activity rooms for things like craft sessions, as well as a film and editing unit and a music studio. I’m looking forward to holding author talks in the community arena.

New Zealand company Architectus worked in partnership  with Danish library experts schmidt hammer lassen (all lower case) and project director Carsten Auer says the design was developed in discussion with Ngāi Tahu and the Ngāi Tūāhuriri rūnanga.

Outdoor terraces and openings on upper floors face culturally significant points in the Canterbury landscape such as Horomaka / Pātaka o Rākaihautū  (Banks Peninsula) and Maungatere (Mt Grey).

The ground floor is a public space that’s an extension of Cathedral Square. We want people to feel like they belong here and, once they’re inside, we want to make access to information as easy as possible.”

Interior ground floor - atrium

It’s not too late to share an idea

Cathedral SquareLast weekend I attended the Share an Idea expo at the CBS Canterbury Arena. Hundreds of people had thousands of ideas of how we can rebuild our city. Some ideas were good, others maybe not so good, but all were important. Post-it notes were stuck on the wall, pictures were drawn and plastic-block buildings constructed. The guest speakers gave interesting presentations about what they thought the city should look like.

The ideas are split into four categories:

  • Life is what keeps the central city vibrant;
  • Space is everything that goes into creating the central city;
  • Market is all about how to encourage economic activity in our city centre; and
  • Move is how we travel to, and around, our central city.

It’s not too late to have your say. To see what has already been suggested, visit the Share an Idea website. Read the suggestions and watch the  clips on YouTube.  Forms are still available at some libraries and service centers, so you can write down your idea and hand it in, or go online, sign up for the newsletter and have your say.

If you want to read up on some urban design ideas our libraries have some great resources. Try these subject headings: