H B Williams Memorial Library

Contemporary Knowledge Hub tells Stories through Award-Winning Design

H B Williams Memorial Library
H B Williams Memorial Library
H B Williams Memorial Library
H B Williams Memorial Library
Cultural narratives, local history and manaakitanga underpin the design of Gisborne District Council’s H B Williams Memorial Library renovation, resulting in a contemporary knowledge hub for the Tairāwhiti community.

“A vibrant learning hub and home for the local community, strongly connected to its local context” was the Gisborne District Council’s design brief for the H B Williams Memorial Library extension.

The library is one of Gisborne District Council’s most used facilities, with up to 5,000 visitors a week. Chow:Hill’s vision for the iconic 1960s building was to take the modernist concrete aesthetic and weave cultural narratives, local history and manaakitanga into a contemporary community learning environment, providing a future-fit asset for the Council.

The project involved the extension and renovation of the original library to create a contemporary knowledge hub with a combined floor area of over 2000m² . The extension would provide 50 per cent more floor space and greater flexibility to offer additional community services.  

Throughout the design process, stakeholder and cultural engagement was essential to explore and understand the future role of the library within the Tairāwhiti community. Chow:Hill also collaborated with the Gisborne District Council and cultural design director and tohunga Sir Derek Lardelli of Lardelli Arts.

Photography by: Amanda Aitken

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Designing cultural narratives

Project focus points included connecting and welcoming the urban community through the expression of context and culture across the building form and aesthetic. This was achieved through a variety of design elements including the three toki forming the gateway to the building, the kaokao flooring articulation guiding visitors from the entry, and the poutama expression framing the entry and service counters. The use of timber in the external glulam toki elements also supported a connection back to the original 1960s timber structure.

The resulting open and vibrant spaces and functional flexibility allow the facility to welcome diverse user groups and after-hours events, enhancing its place in the community and sustainability long term – a true knowledge hub that speaks of Tairāwhiti.

H B Williams Memorial Library
Cultural narratives, local history and manaakitanga underpin the design of Gisborne District Council’s H B Williams Memorial Library renovation, resulting in a contemporary knowledge hub for the Tairāwhiti community.

“A vibrant learning hub and home for the local community, strongly connected to its local context” was the Gisborne District Council’s design brief for the H B Williams Memorial Library extension.

The library is one of Gisborne District Council’s most used facilities, with up to 5,000 visitors a week. Chow:Hill’s vision for the iconic 1960s building was to take the modernist concrete aesthetic and weave cultural narratives, local history and manaakitanga into a contemporary community learning environment, providing a future-fit asset for the Council.

The project involved the extension and renovation of the original library to create a contemporary knowledge hub with a combined floor area of over 2000m² . The extension would provide 50 per cent more floor space and greater flexibility to offer additional community services.  

Throughout the design process, stakeholder and cultural engagement was essential to explore and understand the future role of the library within the Tairāwhiti community. Chow:Hill also collaborated with the Gisborne District Council and cultural design director and tohunga Sir Derek Lardelli of Lardelli Arts.

Photography by: Amanda Aitken

Read More
Designing cultural narratives

Project focus points included connecting and welcoming the urban community through the expression of context and culture across the building form and aesthetic. This was achieved through a variety of design elements including the three toki forming the gateway to the building, the kaokao flooring articulation guiding visitors from the entry, and the poutama expression framing the entry and service counters. The use of timber in the external glulam toki elements also supported a connection back to the original 1960s timber structure.

The resulting open and vibrant spaces and functional flexibility allow the facility to welcome diverse user groups and after-hours events, enhancing its place in the community and sustainability long term – a true knowledge hub that speaks of Tairāwhiti.

H B Williams Memorial LibraryH B Williams Memorial Library
H B Williams Memorial LibraryH B Williams Memorial LibraryH B Williams Memorial Library
H B Williams Memorial Library

Project Credits

Client

H B Williams Memorial Library

Status

In Progress

Project Type

Public & Civic

Awards

2019 NZIA Awards
// Gisborne, Hawke's Bay
// Public Architecture

 

Project Lead

Jane Hill

Design Team

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