Tūranga, Christchurch's new central library recently opened (October 2018) more than two years after work began.
The designers (Architectus and library specialists from Europe) looked to some of the finest libraries around the world, including Birmingham in the UK, Halifax in Nova Scotia and Aarhus in Denmark, but they also drew inspiration from home.
Roof terraces and balconies face areas of importance to iwi — Maukatere/Mt Grey to the north, Aoraki/Mt Cook to the west and the Banks Peninsula to the south. Meanwhile, the golden aluminium fins around the building reflect the shape of native harakeke (flax).
One of the defining features of the new library is the large number of aluminium ceilings. The project has 60 tonnes of high gloss T&R Interior Systems white baffle (around 33,000 lineal metres) and roughly another 25 tonnes of aluminium for bespoke folded bulkheads and internal cladding. The offices have T&R’s Metacoustic perforated metal ceiling tiles with a unique clip-in installation system. The large acoustic lights use C Max product as the absorption material.
Angus Ceilings worked with Southbase and the architect to perfect the installation systems (including the seismic design) for the baffle and aluminium ceilings. The designers didn’t want any rivets so all joints were made invisible. Angus Ceilings also refined the design and created the prototype for the large acoustic lights. These use C Max product from T&R Interior Systems as the acoustic absorption material.
The library contains more than 180,000 books and printed items, employs more than 100 and is expected to host 3,000 people a day.