Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects - Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland, Tauranga
Te Awe Library
Te Awe Library

Te Awe Library


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A new public library for Wellington located in the heart of the CBD.

Across one and a half floors of the recently strengthened Harbour City Centre, HMOA has created a welcoming hub and meeting place on Wellington's Golden Mile.  Te Awe is a temporary library while Wellington awaits the seismic strengthening of the Central Library in Civic Square, designed by Ian Athfield.

"Te Awe Library is a welcoming public space for the community to make its own, whether as a living room, a study area, or a place to simply pause," NZIA Awards Jury comment, "... the architect deployed a design strategy to craft a public space that is generous in both spatial experience and quality".

An internal street links the two entranceways and a cafe, designed by Alistair Cox, is carefully integrated into the overall design.

The challenge of low ceilings and large K-braces have been mitigated with colour and a language of natural timber joinery.

Photos: Andy Spain
Awards: NZIA Wellington Architecture Awards, Public Architecture, 2021

Services have been left exposed and disguised with dark colours. Further challenges were to integrate modern library technologies, way-finding, acoustics, and flexibility of each space into a coherent design solution.

Artwork from pupils at Clyde Quay School have been integrated into the colour scheme by WCC's design team.