Te Paataka Koorero o Takaanini - Pacific Environments Architects | ArchiPro

Te Paataka Koorero o Takaanini

Pacific Environments were engaged by Auckland Council on the interior fit out for the Takanini Library. The brief was to create a new multi-purpose “Community Hub” within an existing development to service the Takanini Community. A focus on providing for Mana Whenua and incorporating the rich history of the area was integral to the brief. The flexibility to accommodate a range of activities; learning, quiet study, meetings, group activities and general play, and the need to adapt to the needs of future communities, were essential considerations.

Community engagement

We heard first-hand from future users about what would be important to them in the space. People identified the importance of being welcomed, feeling comfortable, and feeling a sense of belonging. It was our role as designers, to interpret this into the built form. Providing opportunities for social interaction was critical. We also needed to align the Councils Library’s and Community Services programme and operations model.

Local narratives

As the planning and spatial relationships evolved so did the Iwi narrative, allowing us to integrate this rich history into the fabric of the building. The Iwi artwork the story of Tanne and the Baskets of Knowledge became the primary focus of our design. Working with artist Johnson Witehira, lead art representative for all iwi artworks, was a major highlight for the Pacific Environments team. Additional artwork includes a huge map of the area kindly provided and interpreted by Iwi so that local narratives can be passed on to the next generation.

Adaptable and scalable spaces

We created an agile, multiuse space within a relatively small footprint. Individual zones can be created and made private by closing or opening sliding door panels. The furniture, joinery and gaming tables are versatile, and adaptable (most being on hidden castors), designed to be stowed in designated storage areas when not required. As usage patterns change during the day and evening, the entire layout of the hub can be re-arranged to suit specific events and activities.

Innovation and creativity

The project was an opportunity to create a level of theatre and playfulness that is not often possible. From the artwork based by Johnson Witehira, to the slide in the kids area which bursts through the timber clad wall and wraps its way through the kitchen and foyer entrance, the space is creative and joyful. The majority of the doors/door jambs, joinery, book shelving and custom-made furniture was innovatively designed using LVL scaffolding. This aided in keeping costs down whilst creating a beautiful finish and an added welcome warmth to the space.

Materiality & detailing

The project required clever and creative use of materials to meet tight budget requirements. The interior fit-out is designed around 3 distinct zones, delineated via the use of materiality. In the first zone Autex acoustic 3D tiles cover entire walls and create a wave like effect from the entrance through to the lobby, kitchen and all the way to the computer zone. The tiles played multiple roles; aesthetic, acoustic and a nod to the historical context of the area being once submerged. The second zone evokes the sense of a great tree trunk, timber skin wraps around the central community space, creating a sense of enclosure. The third zone is a light filled, glazed open atrium.

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