The design of the new library (which will be located in Cathedral Square) is inspired by Canterbury’s unique landscape and the feedback the Council received via 2,400 public responses.
Vicki Buck, Christchurch deputy mayor, says she hopes the new civic building will draw people into the square and help revitalise the Central City.
“The facade echoes the warm colours and shadows of the Port Hills and the triangular leaves of the native harakeke flax that once grew in swamps around the site,” she says.
“This will be a great place for people of all ages to read, try new technology and socialise, and the layout is flexible enough to adapt to the rapidly changing needs of the community.”
The New Central Library is expected to open in 2018, replacing the old central library in Gloucester Street which was damaged in the earthquakes and subsequently demolished.
New Zealand company Architectus worked in partnership with Danish library experts schmidt hammer lassen, and project director Carsten Auer says the design was developed in discussion with Ngāi Tahu and the Ngāi Tūāhuriri rūnanga.
“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.”
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.