As a major project in the Recovery Plan to rebuild Christchurch after the devastating 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, schmidt hammer lassen architects — with New Zealand firm Architectus — have been commissioned to design the city's New Central Library.
The 12,000 sq m building will be the latest library project for schmidt hammer lassen, who has designed numerous library buildings around the world.
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"The new library will be one of the anchor projects in the Recovery Plan for the city of Christchurch after the damaging earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. The Christchurch Central Recovery Plan provides the framework for the redevelopment of Christchurch city centre.
The previous Central Library on Gloucester Street was badly damaged and the land it stands on has been designated for the city's new convention centre. The design concept for the Recovery Plan is for a greener, more accessible city with a compact city centre and a strong identity. The aim is to become a city for all people and cultures recognising, in particular, the Ngai Tahu heritage and places of social and historical significance.
The Recovery Plan lays out precincts and anchor projects to catalyse investment, growth and social energy that will bring people back into the city centre. The New Central Library is one of these anchor projects.
“The New Central Library will be a social gathering point in the rebuilt city. It will provide easy access to digital technologies and local heritage collections. There will be exhibition and performance spaces, a learning centre, spaces to relax – indoors and outdoors – and activities to entertain and educate young people,” explained Morten Schmidt, founding partner at schmidt hammer lassen architects.
Christchurch City Council required architects with experience of designing large libraries and public buildings.
Architect team: Architectus, New Zealand
schmidt hammer lassen architects
Other consultants directly engaged by the architect team:
Client: Christchurch City Council
Area: 9,000 – 12,000 m²
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