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More than 2,400 ideas for new Central Library designers

More than 2,400 ideas for new Central Library designers

Architects designing Christchurch’s New Central Library are not short of inspiration thanks to more than 2,400 ideas gathered during the six-week long Your Library, Your Voice campaign.

Some people want a lively family-friendly library with less of a “ssshh factor,” while others want quiet spaces where they can read and study in peace.

Architect Carsten Auer is confident clever library design can satisfy the demand for both. “We’re really trying to make this a building that meets the needs of the people of Christchurch. Libraries are no longer just a repository for books. They’re information hubs and social hubs, and the design will reflect that.“

Your Library, Your Voice sought public feedback online, at libraries, community events, schools, and focus groups.

It identified demand for digital resources and books, access to new technology, comfy furniture, and meeting spaces. A children’s play area, bike and buggy parking, a roof garden and a cafe were also popular. More unusual suggestions included a swimming pool, a slide from top to bottom and guide dog toileting facilities.

Mr Auer’s company, Architectus, is working on the design with Danish architects and library experts schmidt hammer lassen*. He says the consultation process for Christchurch’s New Central Library was world class and the huge response really showed what a vital role the Central Library played in the life of the city.

“The feedback reiterates some of the things we believe are important, which helps make a case for including those things in the design. For example, the Manchester Street bus Super Stop will be a two minute walk from the library and we’re keen to display ‘real time’ travel information so people can wait inside the library until just before their bus departs.

“We now have a clear understanding of what is important to the public. It means people can relate to the project throughout the design phase and feel the library is ‘theirs.’”

Concept designs are expected to go to the Council for approval by the end of September 2014.

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