The TDC Richmond Library occupied one half of an old Wrightson supply store and was showing signs of age. Access to the building was confusing; there was no connection to either Queen Street or the carpark – physical or visual – the layout was cluttered and cramped and the equipment aged. The library had lost its identity.
More space and a new identity were required to launch the library and it’s supporting services into the digital age. The vision was to create the best library of its size in New Zealand that became the centre of its community – a living room away from home.
The new library occupies the vacant store space at the rear of the building doubling the area available on the library floor. The carpark façade was rebuilt as a fully fenestrated wall, opening the interior to the north and introducing sunlight and warmth. Two new entries were constructed at opposite ends of a central axis connecting the carpark and Queen Street. The interior was opened up providing clear visual linkage through the building and to the exterior beyond. LVL/etched glass screens, changes in the carpet pattern or furniture type, define each zone.
New innovations include the “Imaginarium” - a sound controlled room for making, mixing and recording anything vocal, instrumental or graphic, the sound pods to plug in your iPod and tune out, a dedicated TV with news channels in the newspaper reading area and a café with access to an outdoor courtyard where you can sit, read and sup coffee.
Taking a leaf from retail philosophy, quiet study, performance, meetings, emailing, cafe culture or children’s play can all cohabit the same space creating a vibrant community facility that extends the range of the traditional library.