May 27, 2009

1875 Central Christchurch Building For Sale


The former premises of Mascot Finance Ltd are currently being offered for sale at an undisclosed price by the Perpetual Trust. Owing $68 million, the failed finance company was put into liquidation in March 2009.


Designed by William Bernett Armson (1834-1883) and built in 1875, with additions in 1893 and 1923, the Venetian Gothic style former Christchurch Library is situated on the the northwest corner of Cambridge Terrace and Hereford Street West. The detached Librarian's house is one of the few brick townhouses of the 1890s to survive within the inner city and complements the main building.

At one stage threatened with demolition, the renamed Library Chambers building and adjacent Librarian's house were extensively renovated for commercial use in 1984 by the Architect Don Donnithorne.


Right next door to the Christchurch City Council's next headquarters (above), with imaginative redevelopment, the historic buildings could prove an ideal opportunity for the next Central Library, for which it's understood that a budget of $83.5 milion has already been allocated.

Our proposal would be to enclose the group of buildings in a six storey steel and glass structure, similar to this recent design for a Dutch library.

Perhaps even cantilevered out to the Avon River bank, possibly along the lines of this Zaha Hadid design for the Antwerp Port Authority.


Erin said...

Where did you get the figure of $100 million for a new Central Library?

Canterbury Heritage said...

Thank you, we stand corrected: Draft LTCCP 2009-19 - Summary document

"New city libraries – The Council invests in libraries to support the cultural and learning needs of the community. As our city continues to grow, demand for these services will increase. Guided by the Libraries 2025 Facilities Plan, the Council has allocated $123.5m over the next 10 years on building new libraries, in the growth areas of Belfast (with budget of $9.7m allocated over 2017-19), Halswell ($8.3m over 2012-14), Hornby ($9.4m over 2016-18) and Linwood ($9.4m over 2016-18), in addition to $3.1m for a new Aranui library from 2010; and $83.5m on development options for the Central Library from 2019".