Press Release – Auckland Council
Athfield Architects Ltd has been named as Auckland Council’s architectural partner for the new, modern Devonport Library project. Construction work on the current Windsor Reserve site is due to begin later this year.
The selection of Athfield Architects followed a robust proposal and tender process during November and December 2012. Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chair Chris Darby says the appointment of the award-winning architects of the stature of Athfields is welcome news.
“They have emerged from a competitive process which attracted outstanding architectural talent from across New Zealand. Athfields has proven itself capable of taking library design in a dynamic and innovative direction while honouring historic settings.
“They are a standout firm led by one of New Zealand’s finest architects, the internationally acclaimed Ian Athfield. I’m confident we will see Devonport’s reputation for its literary heritage, environmental protection and technological innovation reflected in the new library design when the concept is revealed for public feedback in February,” he says.
Service Delivery Manager for the Pohutukawa Coast Libraries, Marion Read, says building a new library for the Devonport community is a priority for the local board, made possible by the community working with, and providing feedback to, Auckland Council and the local board.
“We are pleased to announce Athfield Architects as our partner as it means we can now get on with this exciting project for the Devonport community,” says Mrs Read.
The proposed 950m2 library, built over two floors, will offer enhanced customer experience, attractive views and connection with the neighbouring reserve. The improved design will provide much-improved spaces for people to meet, read, and access information and learning programmes.
The building will also embrace sustainable design principles to ensure it is environmentally friendly and sympathetic to its natural surroundings at the selected site, Windsor Reserve.
“The calibre of applicants and their proposals was exceptionally high for the building of the new library. We would like to thank those companies that submitted proposals,” says Mrs Read.
Athfield Architects and their engineering sub-consultants AECOM are looking forward to beginning work on the project and creating a building the people of Devonport can be proud of.
“This area has a rich history and many iconic landmarks, which makes it a great place to live in and to visit,” says Nick Strachan of Athfield’s. “We want to ensure the new library further enhances the unique aspects of the area, while providing a great facility for community and visitor use,”
The project team will keep the community informed as the project progresses through to completion. This will be done through community and stakeholder meetings, information sheets, the Auckland Council website and other channels.
About the new Devonport Library at Windsor Reserve
• Auckland Council commissioned an independent review into alternative locations for the library, which found that Windsor Reserve remains the best site from a town planning, and other perspectives.
• The site is physically accessible, and has a number of community areas such as a children’s play area.
• The project is due for completion in 2014 (subject to confirmation of the programme schedule) and work will begin later this year.
• The new Devonport Library will be located at 2-4 Victoria Road, close to the Devonport ferry building.
• The new library will have a floor space of 950m2, which is a significant increase to the existing library.
• There are currently 7,257 active library members and nearly 21,000 items are issued each month on average. The library has almost 16,700 visitors each month on average.
• The Devonport Library redevelopment project was initiated by the former North Shore City Council in 2006. In spite of major alterations and additions over the years, the current library’s footprint, including the external seminar room and public toilet, has remained at 733m2 and the building is currently operational but at a level which is not fit for purpose, as documented by structural assessments reports.