26 Oct 2016

Work has begun in earnest on Christchurch's new Central Library, with the first concrete pour for the foundations taking place.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel said it was exciting to see progress on what would not only be Christchurch's Central Library, but a 21st century knowledge centre networked locally, nationally and internationally. 

"We know our community libraries are well-loved and it is full steam ahead on what is going to be the digital, cultural and community heart of Christchurch. This will be a place that will foster life-long learning and engage, inspire and inform the wider community of greater Christchurch. It is going to be a library the likes of which New Zealand has never seen.”

Groundworks began in February this year on the Cathedral Square site of the old Camelot Hotel and in March Christchurch City Council appointed Southbase Construction Ltd to deliver the $85 million project. which is expected to open mid-2018.

Quin Henderson, Chief Executive of Southbase Construction Ltd, said 620 cubic metres of concrete were poured on Wednesday.

“It took approximately 120 trucks and around five hours to complete the concrete pour. The western lift pit and foundation grids are now in place. The eastern lift pit and the remaining foundation grids will be placed through November. The next notable phase of construction is the erection of the shear wall pre-cast concrete panels which will require a 400-tonne crawler crane on site to lift them into place,” Mr Henderson said. 

Central Library design

Design of the new Central Library

New Zealand company Architectus worked in partnership with Danish library design experts schmidt hammer lassen to design the new 9,850m2  building, which will be the largest public library in the South Island and the second largest in the country. 

The centre’s innovative multi-purpose design will showcase and connect five floors of knowledge, products, services and experiences and will welcome more than 3000 Canterbury residents and visitors daily.