Report - - The Central Library - Christchurch - August 2014 | European and International Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - The Central Library - Christchurch - August 2014


Is this the future?
Regular User
Christchurch Central Library, originally the Canterbury Public Library, was the main city library in Christchurch. Officially the building opened in February 1982, although it was in use prior to this; this was simply the specific day the Governor-General, Hon. Sir David Beattie formally opened the building. Although it's only four stories high it was a particularly large site, covering 6000 square metres. The building was also extended further in 1997 to expand and improve the public facility. Originally banners, which were designed by Quentin MacFarlane, a renowned artist, were suspended within the building over the escalators, and marble tiles and meranti timber was incorporated into its interior design; situating the premises as a particularly grand building indeed. In addition, the site was fully air-conditioned and double glazed, to provide an especially comfortable environment for visitors. While the library survived both major earthquakes without any structural damage, and although Christchurch City Council received a detailed assessment and further reevaluations, because the facility is situated in the 'red zone' alongside the worse affected buildings, it has fallen into the hands of the extensive demolition plans which are currently in progress.

Christchurch Central Library was more of an accidental explore than anything, as we stumbled inside without any real plan. As demolition was in progress there wasn't much left inside at all; at least nothing that merited getting the camera out by any means. The roof, though, turned out to be well worth the climb. Having just arrived in the city a few hours earlier, it was good to stand atop a roof and gaze at the many lights across the city; or the not so many given that it's Christchurch. Maybe cranes is more apt, because there were plenty of them! The climb to the very top was interesting as all the stairs and ladders had been removed, forcing us to stick to the debris and various bits of scaffolding that were all destined for demolition. Once on top though it was time to test out a new timer remote for the camera gear, allowing us to play with different settings for long exposure shots. Explored with Nillskill and Urbex Central NZ.

1: The City of Christchurch


2: Christchurch's Busy Traffic Scene


3: Nighttime Crane Shot


4: The Forsyth Barr, Christchurch


5: The Main City Cathedral and City Centre


6: Looking Out Towards the Suburbs


7: Collapsed Skylight


8: External Street Shot