The brief for this project was to develop an icon for New Brighton with its underutilised foreshore. The Christchurch City Council had committed to construct a new 300m pier in conjunction with local community interests, and a terminus building housing a library and cafes was required to complete the complex.
The library is a ‘new generation,’ highly interactive, highly accessible and socially appropriate structure which acts as a centre for the community.
Numerous constraints needed to be overcome such as constructing a public building effectively on the beach. This meant that special erosion and tsunami conditions needed to be carefully considered. Particularly harsh environmental conditions meant that air-conditioning was required, however, though the use of roof overhangs to the north, Teflon sunshades to the west façade and high performance glazing, the energy loads were effectively managed.
The architectural team worked closely with the local community with several designs explored before the final scheme was agreed and adopted. A close working relationship with Council staff was also developed which facilitated an integrated approach to traffic concerns, parking, foreshore management and budget control.
Chairman of the Board, Principal and Executive Director
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