First look at the concept design for a new South Library and Service Centre

Christchurch City Council has revealed the concept design for the rebuild of the South Library and Service Centre building.

Damaged in the 2010/2011 earthquakes, the popular community facility has been made safe to occupy with temporary strengthening, but the Council is considering a rebuild that will future-proof the facility for decades to come.

Even setting aside the earthquake damage, the South Library and Service Centre building opened in 2003 and is due for an upgrade to modern standards – it could be much greener and more energy efficient, and the space inside could be improved to better suit customers and staff.

“The new concept design has been created by Ignite Architects, with input from other consultants, based on the first round of feedback from our loyal customers and from the staff who work in the building every day,” says Head of Libraries and Information Carolyn Robertson.

“The drawings present a 3D look at how the building would appear from outside, and layouts that show where the various functions within the building will be.

“We’ve also developed a landscape plan that shows how the building would be integrated with the beautiful riverside environment that we know South’s users really treasure,” Ms Robertson says.

Callum Ward, chair of the Waihoro Spreydon-Cashmere-Heathcote Community Board, says the board is thrilled about the design, which would activate the banks of the Ōpāwaho Heathcote River.

“It would connect with the Hunter Terrace redevelopment, farmers’ market, and the future Ōpāwaho River Route cycleway. We appreciate that the design team has incorporated community and environmental needs into their proposed design.

“This service centre goes beyond being just a library and holds immense significance for our city. We eagerly anticipate its improvement,” Mr Ward says.

You can leave feedback on the design right up to Monday 26 June. This feedback will help shape the final design and how it functions.

The concept design for a new build will be presented to councillors alongside information about other options including repair, ahead of a final Council decision on how to proceed. The resilience and lifespan of the facility will be a big factor in any decision-making, along with energy efficiency, comfort, and operational and maintenance costs.

The existing facility will only close once a temporary library and service centre has been established and construction is about to begin. There’s no start date for construction yet, and it’s estimated that a new build or repair would take about 18–24 months.

First look at the concept design for a new South Library and Service Centre, Newsline, 31 May 2023