National Library

Completion date
Cultural & Civic
Interior Design

Nestled at the base of Parnell Rise is the National Library of New Zealand - Auckland Centre. Its role is to provide books and other learning aids to teachers and students of Auckland. The brief was to create an interior environment that would foster a positive learning experience, acting as a hub for our knowledge-based society. Other objectives included flexibility and efficiency in use of space, in addition to a highly accessible place, while also reflecting the culture and history of New Zealand.

The resulting design concept focuses on the development of the main library area and auxiliary spaces for exhibitions, interactive learning, collaboration and the library collection.

Three distinctive zones represent the aspirations of the organisation; exploration, interaction and tranquillity. Exhibition space is located on the ground floor for easy access and openness and, in contrast to most libraries, there are clusters of work zones in the public area encouraging collaboration between staff and visitors.

Walkways start from two different entry points, with a strategically placed welcoming point that naturally guides library users to their destination. Shelving units in the collection area are organised in an intuitive manner allowing users to explore freely.

The wooden tree motif overlying the transparent glazed wall initiates interesting connections as it is repeated throughout the space in different materials and colours with varying degrees of transparency. This 'tree of knowlege' forms a symbolic backbone representing knowledge and learning, and connects the various branches of the library together.


  • DINZ Best Awards 2010 Silver Award - Public and Institutional Spaces
Alasdair Hood Principal Christchurch
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Tim Hooson Principal Auckland, Wellington
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Kate Horton Leader Subject Matter Expert, NotYetKnown Auckland
Kathryn Roberts Interior Designer Auckland
Phone09 366 9626 Save Contact
Eric Zu Interior Designer - Associate Auckland
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