As an asset of Auckland Council, the Fickling Convention Centre and Mount Roskill Community Library offer fundamental services to the surrounding community. This much needed redevelopment provided the opportunity to not only improve the facilities and rectify existing problems with planning, security and identification but also create a strengthened legacy for the present and future community.
The lower level Fickling Convention Centre accommodates rooms for hire of varying sizes, and the upper level houses the Mount Roskill Library (second busiest in Auckland), and incorporates the Citizens Advice Bureau.
The design objective for this project challenged us to deliver a contemporary, innovative facility that is vibrant and engaging, ensuring greater flexibility of use.
With renewal and refurbishment of community facilities it is important to achieve a sense of public ownership, providing spaces that people enjoy and occupy as their own - in this case, move them from the prosaic to the delightful.
Sustainable methods were applied; not only in the material sense, but in taking disused or underutilised spaces and embedding them with new purpose and functionality - the old stairwell was extruded to become two new Community tenancy rooms for smaller public meeting groups. The Library staff area relocated into a disused tenancy space releasing an extra 120m2 into the library for greater public use. Vertical screening to the western façade mitigates summer afternoon heat gain.
The Library entrance features the insertion of the 'Light tower,' creating a sense of lightness and volume, with better circulation and enhanced security. Reused 'front of house' desking was reconfigured in a new location essentially "greeting" users as they come into the library. A mature Camphor Laurel removed to provide a stronger entry axis to the Library, machined and designed into a laminated display case at Library entry, still engaging users with the scent of camphor.
Design elements and colours incorporated into the renewed facility reference the local context; acknowledging people, history and landscape - new slot windows colour reference the volcanic past and Manukau bush fringe of the area. Entrances to both facilities were realigned to provide enhanced flow and more direct access; they use a uniform language of Cedar entrance posts referencing the historic double palisade defense systems of Puketapapa.
Connections to the surrounding landscape were improved, with the lower level boasting new outdoor spaces for users of both facilities to enjoy.
NEW ZEALAND PROPERTY COUNCIL, RIDER LEVETT BUCKNALL MERIT AWARD - SPECIAL PURPOSE CATEGORY 2012
Photography by © Patrick Reynolds