Responding to the changing role of the public library, the brief for Mangere East Library was to create a multifunctional space, one that provided access to books, IT systems, quiet study space, and intimate areas for relaxation.
The design team engaged in a very successful and enjoyable community consultation process, liaising with a wide range of differing cultural groups, to reflect the aspirations voiced by this community. Mangere East has a vibrant community, with over 50% of the residents from Pacific Island cultures and a wide diversity of other ethnic groups. Where budget and design restraints were faced, all decisions were made through a consultative process with community and clients before being approved and actioned.
This project provided a unique challenge in that the desire for natural light and ventilation needed to be balanced with the need to create an environment that would preserve and protect the books. To overcome this challenge, aluminium louvres were added to the glass end walls, creating beautiful visual patterning while providing natural light without direct sun.
The entrance is an important focal point that reflects the diversity of cultural values that were incorporated into the building. The entry area enables formal ceremonial functions similar to marae atea, while the long poles supporting the roof along the entrance way draw their influence from the traditional design of Pacific Island fale.
The Mangere East Library also features a strong landscaping component. The design draws people in from the main street and opens up into an enclosed courtyard - here visitors can read under the shade of established trees.
Overall, our involvement from the early stages through to project completion has been the catalyst for encouraging the community and Manukau City Council to take ownership of the project. The library has become a popular after-school hang-out space. User numbers have doubled and it’s a lively and truly local place to be.
- 2004 NZIA - Resene New Zealand Award for Architecture – Community and Cultural
- 2003 NZIA - Resene New Zealand Award for Architecture – Colour Award
- 2003 NZIA - Resene Local Award for Architecture – Community and Cultural
- 2003 Property Council of New Zealand Rider Hunt Building Award – The Telecom New Zealand Limited
- Education and Arts Property Award – Merit
- 2003 IES Lighting Award – Outdoor – Commendation