This new generation library was designed to provide a range of community services while, at the same time, helping to regenerate and develop the Whangaparaoa civic space through high quality urban design.
The library’s corner location creates a strong entrance to the Main Street shopping precinct. Window boxes cantilever out, making visual connections to Whangaparaoa’s sea views. And the modest civic square that surrounds the library’s entry, and aligns with the adjacent shopping centre entrance, creates an integrated community environment. In addition to the library, the structure includes a Plunket centre and a community meeting room.
From the outset, the brief was to produce a quality urban design outcome for the Whangaparaoacommunity. This was achieved through coordinated consultation, collaboration, and design, with careful consideration being given to energy efficient solutions and resource conservation – including a storm water retention and re-use system.
The design focuses on expressing the building’s materials – double-skinned honed concrete block walls, and low emission double glazing. The natural textural finish of the walls provides a durable low-maintenance and sustainable primary structure for the project. A light-weight steel roof folds and waves over the walls, hovering lightly, and opening up to allow natural light and passive ventilation throughout the depth of the plan.
The project also provides a setting for three specially-commissioned works by local artists. A delicate freestanding bronze and stone sculpture by Peter Oxborough is located in the outdoor courtyard. While, inside, works by Lindsey Kerr and Jaqueline Oust enhance the order and rhythm of the architecture.
External lighting design also provided an opportunity to integrate art and architecture. Peter Stoneham worked with Warren and Mahoney to design the luminous blue and white lighting that animates the building, creating a presence for both day and night.
There is no doubt that the success of this project has contributed to enhancement of the built environment and to the community’s connections with Whangaparaoa’s Town Centre.
Principal and Executive Director
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