Size: Approx 9850m2, making it the largest public library in the South Island (old central library was 7,200m2)
Site: Corner of Cathedral Square and Gloucester Street
Cost: $85 million
Opening date: 2018
Visitors will enter the new Central Library in Cathedral Square through a large welcoming foyer designed to be an extension of the public open space of the square.
This ground floor “urban carpet” acts as a link to the neighbouring Performing Arts Precinct and Convention Centre, with a cafe, retail space and an area displaying new technology.
The first floor has a 200-seat community arena, exhibition space, and areas for families, children and youth.
The top three floors house the bulk of the library’s digital, specialist and print collections along with meeting, recreation and activity areas.
The design was developed in discussion with Ngāi Tahu and the Ngāi Tūāhuriri rūnanga. Terraces and openings on upper floors face culturally significant points in the Canterbury landscape and beyond:
- Kā Tiritiri o te Moana – Southern Alps
- Aoraki / Mt Cook
- Horomaka / Pātaka o Rākaihautū – Banks Peninsula
- Maungatere – Mt Grey
- Hawaiki – according to oral traditions, one of the places of origin of New Zealand's earliest settlers