New $85 million library inches closer

HALIFAX LIBRARY: Architecture firm schmidt hammer lassen designed the central library in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The firm will also be involved in designing the new central library in Christchurch.
HALIFAX LIBRARY: Architecture firm schmidt hammer lassen designed the central library in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The firm will also be involved in designing the new central library in Christchurch.

The city council is seeking ideas and input from the public for the new $85 million central library.

The new central library fronting Cathedral Square is one of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan's anchor projects.  

The new library will replace the old Gloucester St library, which is to be bulldozed to make way for the city's new convention centre.

A budget of $75m has been allocated to the project, with another $10m coming from philanthropic sources.

The Christchurch City Council today launches its "Your Library, Your Voice" campaign to get ideas from the public for the library. 

One of the first sources of public consultation will come from school children.

Pupils from central city primary schools will present the mayor with ideas for their dream library.

The new library will be the largest public library in the South Island. It will be up to five storeys high and have 12,000 square metres of floor space, making it almost twice as large as the old central library in Gloucester St.

It will be a multimedia hub and potentially include cafes and retail, such as a bookshop.

Auckland-based firm Architectus and Denmark-based company schmidt hammer lassen have been tasked with designing the library.

Architectus, one of New Zealand's leading architectural companies, designed the $61 million library and campus hub at Victoria University. It also designed the Waitakere City Central Library in Auckland and the Auckland Central Library Precinct.

The Danish firm, schmidt hammer lassen, is considered a world leader in library design. Its portfolio includes the Halifax Community Library in Canada, the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and the largest public library in Scandinavia. 

The Press