We've developed a concept design for a rebuild of the quake-damaged South Library and customer services building, Te Kete Wānanga o wai Mōkihi, in Beckenham.

The structural support at South Library

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The South Library and Service Centre building was badly damaged in the 2010/2011 earthquakes. While we explore options for a permanent solution, we’ve used temporary strengthening to make the facility safe to occupy.

The concept design [PDF, 13 MB] is based on the same floor area as the current facility, and provides for the same services – library, customer services, learning centre, café, governance spaces and meeting rooms.

The layout of the facility is updated with improvements to how the space can be used and to provide more flexibility for future use.

As part of the concept design for the building, we’ve also developed a master plan for the landscape and outdoor areas [PDF, 2.3 MB]. This plan is designed to work alongside the Mid-Heathcote River / Ōpawaho Linear Park Masterplan [PDF, 17 MB].

The total carbon impact of the project over the life-cycle of the building is an important consideration. The concept design carefully considers the building’s energy efficiency. The design allows for solar panels and EV charging to be included in the future. You can leave feedback on the design here.

We’ll confirm a timeline for the project once councillors make a decision on the future of the facility in October 2023. No start date has been set but if Councillors approve the staff recommendation, construction would begin in 2025 and take around 20 months. The existing library and service centre is expected to remain open until 2025, and the target opening date for a rebuilt facility is December 2026.

In the meantime, the building will remain open to the public as normal.

Latest news

September 2023

Councillors are set to decide the future of the earthquake-damaged South Library and Service Centre building.

Christchurch City Council staff’s recommendation to rebuild the facility without delay has been endorsed by the Waihoro Spreydon-Cashmere-Heathcote Community Board, considering it the fastest, most cost-effective and environmentally friendly option.

Read the recommendation(external link).

Read more on Newsline(external link).

Have your say

You can email southlibraryproject@ccc.govt.nz to have a say on the project at any time during this process.

When it comes to funding, we’ll also engage with the city as a whole as part of a future annual or long-term plan consultation process.

In May 2023, we revealed the concept design for the rebuild of the South Library and Service Centre building. You can see the design here [PDF, 13 MB] or in the foyer at the South Library and Service Centre. You can read all the public feedback on the design here [PDF, 105 KB]. This feedback will help shape the final design and how it functions.


October 2023

Council decision on future

Staff recommend a rebuild to the Community Board. Read more on Newsline.(external link)

December 2022

Café tenant appointed

Vily's Café opened at the South Library building in January 2023. Vilem Gebek is our new operator, and he's a passionate and experienced barista. When creating his new menu, Vilem kept food waste minimisation principals in mind – everything is being made in-house and sourced from local suppliers like Bohemian Bakery, Frank's Café, and Café Berlin.

June 2022

Rebuild investigated

The Council’s Sustainability and Community Resilience Committee has agreed that it makes more sense to build a new facility than to repair the existing building.

Read more on Newsline(external link) and read the report(external link).