Architectus and Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Photo by Adam Mørk
Tūranga is a building of distinction that admirably fulfils its function as Christchurch’s main library, and also, with its strong but not overbearing presence, makes a very important contribution to the shaping of the Square and the signifying of the public realm of the central city. The collaboration with Matapopore Charitable Trust and Ngāi Tuāhuriri has been thoroughgoing and influential, informing the experience of whakamanuhiri, the ‘bringing in’ of visitors and their ascent via generous and well-crafted stairways that rise through a light-filled atrium in a manner suggestive of the passage of the mythical hero Tāwhaki to the heavens. The design offers a range of well-considered and appropriately differentiated spaces, complemented by sympathetic material selection, and the pleasure of occupation and use is enhanced by the library’s service as an urban balcony offering perspectives on and connections to the surrounding city, Christchurch’s rural hinterland and the Southern Alps.