Waiheke Library Interiors

Waiheke Library Interiors

At the heart of the Waiheke library’s design vocabulary is the suggestion of a canopy of pohutukawa, the evergreen tree that grows throughout coastal New Zealand. This is expressed with translucent ceiling panels incised with an intricate cutaway leaf pattern. Extending upward to meet the canopy are several angled columns that create a ‘forest’ that populates the library’s interior and exterior areas.

Entered via a sheltered courtyard, the library’s main interior holds an easily navigated layout of central book shelves, and a variety of seating, studying and meeting areas. A spiral staircase ascends to an overhead balcony where children may read alone or in groups, or engage in imaginative play.

The building’s striking façade is immediately apparent as its boldly distinguishing feature. This is wrapped by a series of wooden battens that evoke a series of book spines. Expanses of glass, enhanced with Māori design, sit between the battens at intervals, contributing to a sense of openness and transparency.

Paying tribute to Waiheke Island’s climatic conditions, Kazu Nakagawa’s forty-nine letters is an artwork that is literally carved into the new building’s façade. A long-time resident, the artist describes the island’s conditions with these words: LOTS OF RAIN, LOTS OF SUN, LOTS OF WIND, LOTS OF DAY, LOTS OF NIGHT.

Nakagawa hand-carved this phrase, letter by letter, into the southern façade’s waved-battens over six months. The words shift in and out of focus as the island’s light conditions change. Applied with ceramic frit, the phrase continues uninterrupted on the façade’s glass surfaces.

  • Date
  • Tags Interior Design

Related Projects