Responding to an increasing population and changes in modern learning methods, the new Wellsford War Memorial Library is nearly five times the size of the original building. Its strong and simple form references the town’s agricultural history through its loose ‘shed’ aesthetic. Step inside however, and it's clear that this a library of the future.
A plaza connects the library and museum, serving as both entry court and attractive open space. The park’s war memorial gates and flagpole were repositioned in the plaza, making a generous setting for ANZAC day commemorations.
The interior is spacious, lofty and inviting, filled with natural daylight delivered by large windows, a skylight and roof ventilation. It offers flexible space for various uses: recreational reading and study; events and digital media use. There are dedicated areas for children, teenagers and adults, along with WiFi, more public computers and a public meeting room.
The building features numerous sustainable attributes not seen in a library before, a rain garden manages storm water run-off from the car park while charge points for electric vehicles are powered via the building’s solar panels. Energy use is monitored is real time so that adjustments can be made to increase energy effectiveness and power saving.
The building's commitment to sustaining the local landscape and culture is further reflected in artwork, patterns and hues throughout the exterior and interior. Local artists from Te Hana were engaged to integrate artworks and design that reflect Wellsford’s historic connection with the Kaipara Harbour.
- 2014 Property Council NZ Education & Arts Property Award, Merit
- 2014 Property Council NZ Green Building Property Award, Merit