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Work begins on Christchurch’s two new libraries


Construction work begins on Christchurch’s two new libraries

Contractors have started work on the sites of new community libraries at Parklands and Upper Riccarton. The dynamic new libraries will be two of the most innovative in New Zealand, offering unique places to meet friends, browse, read or borrow books, magazines and newspapers, enjoy a coffee, learn or study, attend a special event, listen to music or check out the CDs, DVDs and videos.

Higgs Builders is the contractor for Parklands library, where the redevelopment of the former North Brighton Baptist Church is due to be completed for a July opening. Construction of the new community and school library at Upper Riccarton, a joint venture between Christchurch City Council and Riccarton High School, is being undertaken by Mainzeal Property and Construction. The complex is expected to open in December.

Both new libraries will include cafés, and café operators have now been selected following a tender process. The café at Upper Riccarton will be operated by Red, the current operator of the successful café at South library. The café at Parklands library will be called Va-Voom, operated by the owners of Queenspark Tavern next to the library.

Parklands library will pioneer the concept of changing spaces, focusing on different customers at different parts of the day. During the day, adults will enjoy great resources, great coffee and helpful staff. At pre-schoolers time, staff will pull down colourful screens and swap adult chairs for beanbags and cushions. After school, the study zone will offer homework help complete with a video wall, headphones and laptops. Saturdays will offer a low-stress environment combining relaxed reading, coffee, music and technology.

As a large combined school and community library in a major urban area, the library at Upper Riccarton will also be the first of its kind in New Zealand. The library will house an amazing array of resources in a purpose-built 1500 square metre building designed by Warren and Mahoney, architects of South and New Brighton libraries.


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