New district library and art gallery design revealed

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New district library and art gallery design revealed

Stunning concept designs for the long-planned new Marlborough District Library and Art Gallery in Blenheim have been released.

Principal Richard McGowan of architects Warren and Mahoney said the new building was on an excellent site, overlooking the Taylor River to the north and the Wither Hills to the south.

“Blenheim has a truly captivating environment with its bronzed, folded Wither Hills sitting above the straight lines of the vines. Those elements have directly influenced the new building’s form and design.”

“It’s a great site, a great outlook and a great aspect.”

“The building will become the heart of the town, a community centre, a hub of knowledge and a place of treasure, with a modern, striking art gallery sitting inside it.”

“The building will become a landmark clearly visible from State Highway 1, and would also connect directly to The Quays and amphitheatre public spaces just across the road from its northern entrance.

“The library will be a portal to world knowledge and local knowledge.”

Mayor John Leggett said it was wonderful to see the project finally taking shape.

“This has been years in the making and everyone is so excited to see it finally coming to fruition.”

“The new library in Waitohi/Picton led the way, showing how a new, modern library can transform users’ experience, attracting 24 per cent more visitors since it opened in 2017, delivering a multi-use venue for all sorts of community activities.”

“This building will also be a game changer for Blenheim, bringing people into town and revitalizing the CBD and downtown area. The current library has 17,900 visitors a month and that will only increase with this fantastic new, multifunctional venue,” he said.

“Warren and Mahoney is a renowned South Island-based architectural firm, who have designed a stunning portfolio of buildings around New Zealand and Australia, stretching back to 1955.”

“If you want an idea of what to expect, take a look at the Kaiapoi Museum and Library building, which Richard also designed. Their design, whilst visually exciting, was also based on a simple underlying building design to keep costs down. There has been a lot of pressure on cost.”

The project’s construction is currently out to tender, and closes on 15 July. It’s hoped the build will get underway in late August or early September 2020, and will be an 18-month to two year project, employing many local contractors in its construction.

The construction budget is just under $20m. The Mayor said the budget was set aside in 2015 and the cost to each ratepayer for the construction of both the Picton and Blenheim libraries is less than $30 per year, or approximately 50c a week per household.

“Council is in a strong financial position but we are also hopeful the Government may support this as a ‘shovel-ready’ economic recovery project. My fingers and toes are firmly crossed!”

“Whichever way it goes, I think Marlburians are going to be surprised and delighted by their new district library and art gallery. Personally, I can’t wait to see its doors open.”

See the design images