Christchurch New Central Library

Christchurch New Central Library

Christchurch’s central library was badly damaged in the February 2011 earthquakes and as part of the city’s recovery strategy a replacement library was identified as a key project to assist the revitalisation of the city centre and Cathedral Square.

Architectus in association with Danish architecture firm schmidt hammer lassen were comissioned for brief development and design and delivery of the new central library in 2013. The new central library will be the flagship of the Christchurch library
network, act as a catalyst for redevelopment and fulfil an important civic function. As such it will need to convey the values and identity of both the library and the community it serves.

The building will be a beacon, creating a vibrant edge and dialogue between the civic space of the square and the activities within, particularly the key public space of the Community Arena.

The project responds to the changing role of libraries in today’s environment, the local context and international trends in library design. As such the project provides a social hub for the community to access and share knowledge through a range of media in
a building which is welcoming, diverse and representative of the community it serves.

Collaboration and stakeholder engagement have been a key component of the project. A brief development process and ongoing
consultation with the public, key stakeholders and local Iwi has provided an understanding of the community’s aspirations. As a result the design addresses ‘the local’ as a key functional and aesthetic driver. Terraces on the upper floors face culturally significant points in the Canterbury landscape and the facade is designed to reflect the golden colours of the Port Hills.

Project Sheet

Project Summary

Christchurch City Council
Christchurch, New Zealand
Floor area
9 850m²
Original value
Carsten Auer