More than a building for books, Tūranga will foster life-long learning for generations of Cantabrians and visitors to the city.

The new Christchurch Central Library (Tūranga) re-emphasises the important role libraries play in our modern societies. They’re vital community hubs for creating cultural awareness, working, learning, socialising and entertainment.

After the original library was badly damaged by the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, the Central City Development Unit rebuild blueprint set aside a prominent central site for the improved new central library. Extending onto Christchurch’s iconic Cathedral Square, it will be an important civic space that attracts people back into the central city.

The five-storey building is the largest facility of its kind in the South Island. At 9,850m2, more than a third bigger than the original library. Now that construction is complete, it is expected to receive up to 2,000 visitors each day.

The Matapopore Trust was a key design partner in the development of Tūranga from the outset of the project. Tūranga speaks of whakapapa across generations, connections to the north and out to Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa and the wider Pacific. Key cultural values, aspirations and narratives were integrated into the design of the building focusing on distinguishing the expression of mātauranga within the finishes, fittings, installations, language and protocols.

A light-filled central atrium leads people up through the library, enabling connectivity between various levels. It has plenty of space, facilities and technology for the local community, including an innovation zone with 3D and laser printers, music and video editing studios, a 200-seat arena, children and family areas, a dedicated reading room, café, and even two large outdoor terraces.

Tūranga is one of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan’s anchor projects, and the only anchor project over which Christchurch City Council has complete control. We’ve helped the council deliver this landmark community hub by providing client technical advisory and independent commissioning agent (ICA) roles.

Find out more about how we're helping create a vibrant future for Christchurch:

Image courtesy of Architectus + Schmidt/Hammer/Lassen Architects

9,850 sqm

When complete


Number of daily visitors


Project value

Our Team Says

We worked seamlessly alongside the Christchurch City Council libraries team to transform their vision into a functional building that is layered with technology and sustainable design. The facility provides a hub that will be embraced and enjoyed by local communities and visitors to Christchurch.

Andrew Jackson

Technical Director, Building Services

Our Client Says

As a gateway to a world of knowledge, research and heritage, the new and much larger new central library will engage, inspire and inform communities, supporting and enhancing the services offered by the broader library network.

John Rossetter

Project Director, Christchurch City Council

Our People

Alan Barbour

Technical Director - Building Services

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Andrew Jackson

Technical Director - Building Services

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Graeme Wills

Senior Associate - Building Services

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