This building is a notable New Zealand first: a purpose-built, mixed-use facility that integrates a new community library with the Upper Riccarton High School’s existing collection and IT resources.
Drawing on Australian precedents, the concept provides a dynamic new structure in which school and community can interact. It also builds on the success of the South Christchurch Library, incorporating outdoor reading areas, a dedicated cafe, a children’s library, and comprehensive multi-media learning and research tools. Four shared teaching suites provide group research and tuition opportunities for students during the school day while allowing the school’s computer resources to be made available to community groups after hours.
The new library enclosure is passively ventilated, and uses environmentally sustainable design principles to minimise requirements for air-conditioning and its associated energy use.
In-slab heating and cooling capacity, motorised external louvers, daylight-sensitive lighting, and electronically-controlled operable glazing are some of the mechanisms that allow the building’s fabric to monitor climatic changes and reconfigure itself to accommodate them on a continuous basis.
The library is a landmark structure, providing a valuable community resource as well as a much needed gateway to Riccarton High School’s western precinct.
NZIA Jury Citation
Chairman of the Board, Principal and Executive Director
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