Papakura Library

Completion date
Cultural & Civic
Interior Design, Architecture

The brief for the project required the refurbishment and revitalisation of the ground floor of an existing building to accommodate a library, museum and retail space, which was the consolidation of various spaces throughout the building. The aim was to create a space to be easily used by the community to socialise, relax, share, discuss, explore and learn. This project is a proud example of Jasmax’s commitment to the integration of New Zealand culture and heritage into spaces at the heart of our community.

The link of the land to the sea is reinforced by the artwork inspired by the natural environment and important geographical sites of Papakura - Pukekiwiriki Pa and the Pahurehure inlet on the Manukau Harbour, which enliven the walls and colour the space. The local community is also reflected in artwork created by Desna Whaanga-Schollum that presents children amidst both images of ancestors and recent human activities linking the past to the present.

The library frontage has vertical timber blades that sway like Raupo that fragment the facade and visually opens the library interior to the common space. The plywood ceiling adds intimacy and further interest to the space, continuing the story by unfolding into the different zones within the Library. The reference corner acknowledges the Maori meeting house whose form is echoed in its structural design. The form is integrated into the library space and its partial walls and strong ribs provide a sense of shelter to create a quiet zone.

The Museum frontage has strong slabs of carved Gib wall, like a river bank that gives delicate glimpses into the interior of precious histories. The Kaitiaki Room is grounded by Pou symbolising the relationship of Maori iwi, hapu and their connection to the land.

As quoted by the client, Papakura District Council: "The design reflects our ongoing interaction with the past, our engagement with the present and our hopes and aspirations for the future of our local community."

The results are dynamic public environments that achieve improved utilisation and enhanced interconnections linking Great South Rd to East Street and to the Library and Museum. The redeveloped Library and Museum complex opened in October 2010.


  • 2011 DINZ Best Awards Bronze - Public and Institutional Spaces

Other team members

Judy Court Interior Designer Auckland
Tim Hooson Principal Auckland, Wellington
Phone+64 9 367 0447 Mobile+64 21 623 225 Save Contact
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