Te Kauwhata Library & Service Centre

Standing at the gateway to the village centre the Library is pivotal to the urban fabric of the township.


  • New Zealand


  • Te Kauwhata Library and Service Centre

Project Status

  • Completed 2011


  • 2011 NZIA Waikato Bay of Plenty Architecture Award - Public Architecture

This Public Library is envisaged as the catalyst for a revitalisation of the Te Kauwhata township and is a reflection of the ethos that good public Architecture should delight and inspire people. In line with International Library Design philosophy, we ensured a progressive approach to the design; always focusing on the Library’s primary function: presenting empowerment through knowledge to all who seek it.

The angled structural glass curtain enhances the transition from the park into the retail development beyond. The interior environment is light and open with strong links to the exterior. The reception counters, book displays, acoustic panels and light fittings become sculptural elements to enrich the experience of the users and endear them to the space.

Many sustainable features have been woven into the design; active features such as the photovoltaic electricity generation system, rain water harvesting and storm water attenuation, energy efficient occupancy activated lighting, smart mechanical temperature control and ventilation all compliment passive measures such as low emissivity glass and the reduction of PVC. 


Making Te Kauwhata township proud

Te Kauwhata's new award-winning library and council service centre sets the benchmark for the revitalisation of the small Waikato town.

The flagship civil facility was created through a combination of both our architecture and engineering ingenuity. Standing at the gateway to the village centre, the new Te Kauwhata Library greets visitors with its sculptural form of glass, steel, concrete and timber. With its lush park-like surroundings, its angled structural glass curtain connects the park setting to the retail development beyond.

Inside, the library is light and open with strong links to its unique exterior. It is sculptural and artistic, from the reception counters to the book displays, and from the acoustic panels to light fittings. Thermal and UV protection is used for the comfort of the library users and its extensive collection.

In response to our understanding of international library design philosophy, we designed the library to celebrate the main goal of a library's central function - to present empowerment through knowledge to all who seek it.

In 2011 our team received the New Zealand Institute of Architects Waikato/Bay of Plenty Public Architecture Award for Te Kauwhata Library.

Contact Richard Daniels
A sculptural and vivacious exterior leads via a sweeping entry into a central vortex which then spills out to the pleasant pools that are the book spaces. The Architect's stated belief that ‘good public architecture should be robust and enduring, but should also delight and inspire people’ has been ably realised in this project. The library is a building that should make its town proud.
NZIA Panel Judges 2011