Athfield Architects win library project

BOLD NEW LOOK: The new building is planned to be almost twice the size of the current Devonport Library.
BOLD NEW LOOK: The new building is planned to be almost twice the size of the current Devonport Library.

Renowned modern architecture firm Athfield Architects has been chosen to work with Auckland Council on the new $7.8 million Devonport Library.

The tender process came to an end last week with Athfield Architects receiving a unanimous vote from the Devonport Library project team.

Their winning concept plans for the proposed two-storey, 950 square metre library, will be discussed at the Devonport Takapuna Local Board meeting tonight.

A review of the original concept plan for the library was carried out by architect and urban planner Graeme McIndoe in September last year.

Mr McIndoe spoke of the need for the architecture to be more dynamic than that designed in 2008 by architecture firm Arch Office, the architects behind the new Birkenhead Library.

This sentiment was echoed by the community, says local board chairman Chris Darby, who expressed their "angst at the heaviness of the original building".

Since the original proposal the budget for the new library has doubled and this, along with community concern, prompted a new design to be explored.

Of the 12 architecture firms who entered an expression of interest, five finalists were given funding and a design brief and asked to come back with a concept plan, Mr Darby says.

There will be no formal public consultation regarding the new design but key stakeholders and the public will be asked for feedback at a series of meetings.

The feedback will then be taken into account and a final design will be prepared with construction due to begin towards the end of the year with a completion date of 2014.

During construction a temporary library will be set up in the Devonport i-site on Victoria Rd, with the i-site possibly being moved to the ferry building.

ARCHITECTS Athfield Architects Ltd is the firm started by well-known architect Ian Athfield. Their high-profile work in Wellington and Christchurch includes having designed the Wellington City Library and the Lancaster Park extension.

North Shore Times