This project posed a major challenge of adding an extensive new five-level library into an already busy campus.
The design linked adjacent university buildings that were refurbished and connected to the library through a full-height gallery. The gallery defines the edges of the library and other facilities while allowing open visual and physical movement between spaces. It serves as both the main pedestrian axis for the site and provides lively circulation and social areas.
Acknowledging the changing nature of the traditional research libraries, the project team included a range of learning support services - from language through to information technology literacy - as complementary functions. Incorporated into the design are approximately 1000 quiet study areas, traditional book storage, IT access and soundproofed learning areas combined.
Areas of finely detailed wood panelling throughout the library soften the acoustics and provide visual warmth.
Large open areas are equally given visual complexity through layering of rectilinear structural details and fine edges.
Climbing or descending the gallery cavity’s stairwell provides a visual encounter with each level of the space. Well loved by students, the library provides an inspirational environment for students to gather and study.
- 2002 NZIA – Resene New Zealand Award for Architecture – Education
- 2002 Property Council of New Zealand Rider Hunt Building Award – Education and Arts – Excellence Award