Matuku Takotako Sumner Centre

The community of Sumner in Christchurch has a new heart at its centre again, with the opening of Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre which is home to Sumner’s library, community centre and museum.

Christchurch City has a proud history of investing in libraries, with a network of 21 facilities. The completion of the Sumner Centre raises the bar higher than ever – not just because Sumner had been missing their library and community facilities since the destruction wrought by the earthquakes, but because the building itself is unlike anything else in the Council’s library network. It contains an innovative and welcoming library space, the museum, community meeting room and facilities, and a 250 seat performance hall.

Designed by Athfield Architects, the building takes its design cues from the seascape of cliffs, driftwood, sails, striped sun umbrellas and native bird life.  It breaks down  the threshold of the traditional library service model – all of the public spaces are seen as part of the library with a central atrium linking the ground and first floors together as one building. Artworks by Ngāi Tahu artist Fayne Robinson and Art Fetiche’s Brent Brownlee are a feature. The adaptive reuse of materials salvaged from the demolished buildings imprints memories of the past on the future.

After six and a half years operating with a limited suite of services via our mobile library, we are delighted to be offering wonderful, welcoming spaces, a great new collection, wifi and computers as well as public programmes, especially for children.” says Christchurch City Council Head of Libraries and Information Carolyn Robertson.

As lead consultant, The Building Intelligence Group partnered with a highly experienced team including Athfield Architects, Mott MacDonald, Quoin, Olsson Fire and Risk, and Armitage Williams. “Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre has people at its heart and The Building Intelligence Group’s whole of team approach never lost sight of that vision.” says Matt Cummins, Christchurch City Council Senior Project Manager.

The Sumner Centre opened in August 2017. For the full story read our THINK article here.