The form of the library was arrived at in negotiation with the Māori stakeholders. It is based on the ceremonial whare (house) with the great open web truss (which is expressed inside and runs the full height and length of the library), the tāhuhu (ridgepole); the carved decoration on the supporting posts, poupou (ancestral carvings); benches in front of the library, paepae (resting place); and the forecourt, the aatea (ceremonial forecourt).
Waitakere Central Library & Unitec Facilities
Former Waitakere City Council / Unitec
Designed in conjunction with Athfield Architects, this project consists of the new Waitakere City Central Library, which also integrates the Unitec collection, and new teaching facilities for the Unitec Institute of Technology.
Sited adjacent to the existing Unitec building in Henderson, the two buildings (and a third attached car parking building) are arranged around a new pedestrian street and urban square to form a new civic precinct. Part of a building programme that includes the nearby Waitakere Civic Centre, the project intended to act as a catalyst for the future development of the Henderson CBD.
The Library is the largest in the area, with a depth of collection and a range of services greater than any of the city’s other libraries. The collections available include a specialist collection for the entire library system, an extensive New Zealand and Pacific collection and a developing corporate library service.
The general health collection of the adjacent Unitec Nursing and Health Studies faculties have been integrated with the public collection while the specialist textbooks have a separate section for staff and students on the upper floor of the library.
The new Unitec building accommodates general teaching, laboratories, lecture and student facilities and administration.
NZIA Auckland Architecture Award – Community and Cultural 2006