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Smooth design and build for new community library

Smooth design and build for new community library
Black steel and timber have been used to complement the new building’s facade that includes protruding bricks, as well as vertical and horizontal bonds.

Design firm Ignite and lead contractor City Care have created something special for Woolston in the form a stylish and highly functional community library that also respects the site’s heritage.

History has not been overlooked at the new Woolston Community Library, which features a distinctive red brick facade referencing the site’s original building. A casualty of the 2010/11 earthquakes, the 1871 library building was a showpiece of bricklaying craft in its day.

Black steel and timber have been used to complement the new building’s decorative façade that includes protruding bricks, as well as vertical and horizontal bonds.

The building’s three main areas – an outdoor courtyard, the library and community hall – are well-integrated and there are easy connections to the carpark and wider urban area. Internally, spaces have been designed beautifully for flexibility and multi-functionality.

Bi-fold doors in both the library and the community hall open out into the courtyard. This is the first time that Ignite and City Care have worked together on a design and build project.

City Care was chosen as the main contractor, based on its considerable previous experience and known capability. The new building was completed for the Christchurch City Council in July 2018.

After completing the design, Ignite maintained a close working relationship with City Care and other key contractors, including the project’s brick layer.

The council’s project manager also had input from early on. As work progressed, fortnightly project meetings were held to discuss how construction was going and to iron out any small design matters.

“The documentation provided by Ignite was really good – the drawings were great,” says City Care Property Project Manager Grant Kilmore. “The design detail was excellent, so we didn’t have to raise too many issues at all.

“If you start with the right documentation and can work on solutions as a team, then that flows through to the entire project and makes it easier for everyone involved.”

Ignite and City Care share a similar work culture and vision that further cemented their excellent working relationship on this project.

It has laid the groundwork for new collaborative projects moving forward. While the new community library is simple in form, its crafted finish required a high standard of construction expertise.

“For its size, it really is quite a complex building,” says Grant. “It has almost every single commercial construction component you can imagine from heavy engineering, steel work and concrete tilt panel to brick, glass and polycarbonate glazing product from Germany.”

“Of course, you have to make sure you order the product well in advance to ensure you have it in time.”

City Care worked with its own team of trusted contractors, chosen for their reliability and strong past performance. As well as leading the construction itself, City Care also rolled out the car parking, civil works, landscaping and internal fit-out.

“People tend to associate City Care with mowing lawns and trimming trees but in fact we’re multi-faceted, with our services including vertical construction.”

Along with contracts for the city council, City Care’s construction division has also completed projects for the Ministry of Education, Christchurch International Airport and other clients.

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