New Zealand company Architectus has led the project in partnership with Danish library design experts schmidt hammer lassen. Architectus has worked on many civic, community, educational and transport oriented projects, such as the new Christchurch bus interchange.
schmidt hammer lassen has received more than 150 awards for its work, which includes 12 libraries internationally, the International Criminal Court in The Hague and the ARoS Museum of Art in Denmark
Lead architect Carsten Auer:
Not everyone is comfortable walking into new buildings or experiences and that’s why it was really important to make it inviting. The ground floor is essentially a public space – an extension of Cathedral Square - and we want people to feel like they belong here. Once they’re in the building we want to make access to knowledge as easy as possible.
Libraries have moved on from being repositories of books to being multi-media hubs and social hubs. The modern library is the ‘third space’ between home and work. It’s a place where you can meet people or be ‘alone together,’ enjoying sharing a social and recreational space with others, even if you are not engaging directly with them.
At night the library becomes a lantern that lights up Cathedral Square, a beacon that draws people across the square.