schmidt hammer lassen + architectus win commission to design the new central library in christchurch
press image courtesy of schmidt hammer lassen architects





schmidt hammer lassen (SHL) and aukland-based architectus have been selected to design the ‘new central library’ in the redeveloping city of christchurch, new zealand. after being severely damaged from earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, the council has instilled a recovery plan that includes revitalizing the history and identity of the region, while providing a greener approach in regards to the environment and social sustainability. the 12,000 square meter building will supplement the previously affected central library – its location also plans to be home to a convention center. the development is set to be an anchor project for the city, helping to stimulate activity and serve as a social gathering space.


SHL are known for their higher education complexes and cultural centers with designs that include the danish royal library (black diamond), in copenhagen, denmark, and more recently the aberdeen university new library. the proposed scheme for the christchurch complex offers the traditional method of book collection, but will also integrate digital archives and contemporary multi-media functions. additionally, ‘there will be exhibition and performance spaces, a learning centre, spaces to relax – indoors and outdoors – and activities to entertain and educate young people,’ says morten schmidt, founding partner at schmidt hammer lassen architects.



project info:


architect team: architectus, new zealand + schmidt hammer lassen architects
consultants: arup, sydney/ mott macdonald/ marshall day/ planz consulting
client: christchurch city council
area: 9,000 – 12,000 m²