A carpet worth 1000 words

The interior of Rolleston’s new award-winning library imparts an important story for all to see.

Winner of a prestigious Public Architecture accolade at the recent Canterbury Architecture Awards, Te Ara Ātea celebrates the region’s rich heritage, diversity and unique landscape.

Seven years in the making, the $22.7 million, 2200 square metre library is an exceptional visual and functional civic space.

Awards judges complimented the “beautiful spaces and moments” carefully curated throughout the interior, offering places to rest, work and ponder.

The stunning interior displays are thanks to a clear creative vision and collaborative approach shared by experience design company Workshop e and the architects Warren and Mahoney.

Workshop e collaborated closely with the Selwyn District Council Arts, Culture and Lifelong Learning team, Canterbury Museum, heritage groups, artists, and community members to design and produce integrated experiences through the building that explore the district’s stories of people, places and journeys.

Notable elements include a specially designed carpet that illustrates the mountains to sea, providing a sensory experience in collaboration with Christchurch rug makers Dilana.

The complex large-scale, immersive projection on the ground floor, celebrates the district’s environment and seasons, and includes the work of Nathan Pohio and imagery inspired by artist Cath Brown. It is representative of a co-design process with Te Taumutu Rūnanga, Workshop e and Warren and Mahoney.

Architectural gem 

Designed by architects Warren and Mahoney, Te Ara Ātea was built by Armitage Williams, with the internal fit out also by Warren and Mahoney.
Sustainability is to the fore in the design, which includes intelligent performance membranes, both inside and out, to control moisture. The clever façade allows just the right amount of light inside, via external louvres.

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