In 1994 Upstream Design Group carried out an extremely successful conversion of a car show room into a new library for the city of Nelson. In 2004 the original designers, now being part of Arthouse Architecture Ltd, were asked to carry through with the next stage of expansion for the library.
It was decided to extend in a northerly direction with a new roof form which could address the Maitai river frontage in a dynamic way. A bright red weatherboard block punctuates the change in form. 600 m2 of new building was provided with improved seating area for patrons, improved circulation, children’s area, activity room, new computer teaching space and research room, and more extensive work areas for the staff. Glass screens to the computer area, stainless steel power poles and blocks of coloured flooring and walls break up the space. The new pitched ceiling reaches out towards the river and by freeing up more space the internal views of the atrium garden and upwards through the original clerestoreys are able to be appreciated again.
The low energy systems developed in the original design have been carried through in the extension with natural lighting and ventilation once again being utilised.