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Birkenhead library is granted resource consent

Birkenhead library is granted resource consent


20 August 2008


The Birkenhead Library and Civic Centre has been granted resource consent, taking it one step closer to its planned construction in late November.

Mayor Andrew Williams says he is delighted that the resource consent is approved and that the Council is now able to move on apace to getting the library back up and running.

“The matter of reconstructing the Birkenhead library and civic centre has been a huge priority for the new council and since the beginning of 2008, monthly progress reports have been requested by councillors”, says Mayor Williams.

Just last week the North Shore City Council’s Community Services and Parks Committee granted approval for the architectural layout design for the library.

A failed resource consent application and subsequent Plan Change and Environment Court appeal delayed the building process for the new library and civic centre, to be sited on the corner of Hinemoa St and Rawene Rd. 

Since the demolition of the old library, area office and Plunket rooms, Birkenhead Leisure Centre has and will continue to be the temporary library space until the new one is open.

Mayor Williams acknowledges the difficult time for residents.  He says Birkenhead lost a significant part of its heart and soul with the loss of its library and civic services.

“I was very concerned at the ongoing delays in putting the matter right and I am pleased that the centre can now move to its next step,” he says.

“The 2662 square metre library and community facilities building will be an icon with stunning views out across the harbour and its design will be a big drawcard for all the locals to enjoy,” he says. 

Mayor Williams says he wants to thank all those who have been involved from within council and from the community who have worked tirelessly to get this project back on track and finalised.

Chair of the Community Services and Parks committee as well as the special library sub committee, Councillor Tony Holman says he is extremely pleased on behalf of the community that the library now has the green light to proceed.

Councillor Holman is grateful and appreciative of the difficulties library staff have had to operate under and the excellent way they have deal with their temporary accommodation.

He looks forward to completion on time and says he knows how the community at large has suffered during the long period without a proper library and civic centre.

"We're well aware that many people have found it difficult to use the interim library and we’re conscious of the economic effects on Highbury Town Centre. We hope that the new library will help provide new enthusiasm for the use of the library and rejuvenate the Highbury Town Centre," says Councillor Holman.

The library will house some of Council’s important community services such as the Birkenhead Northcote Community Board meeting rooms. It will also be home to the Citizens Advice Bureau, Plunket and the community co-ordinator

Before construction can begin the project will need building consent which will be followed by a tender process for the actual building. Construction is expected to start in late November and be finished by December next year.  

The building will also be built to Green Star NZ status, which is New Zealand's first comprehensive environmental rating system for buildings.

Green Star NZ evaluates building projects against eight environmental impact categories, plus innovation. Within each category, points are awarded for initiatives that demonstrate that a project has met the overall objectives of Green Star NZ and the specific criteria of the relevant rating tool credits. 

The Library, which sits on the basement car park, is simple in form, a two storey long rectangle and annex glazed at both ends with two articulated facades on each long side.

The northern side facing the park is screened by a sculptural series of timber fins, the other a combination of solid and glazed patterned elements to filter light and to screen the adjacent residential apartments, together with a large horizontal clear glazed window set at a height from the mezzanine to take account of a full length panoramic view. Materials are selected for a combination of properties - low maintenance and durability, transparency, texture, and thermal mass. Brick is used as an historical reference back to the old library and Plunket rooms which used to be on the site.



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