Te Matapihi Library

Project Summary

Client: Wellington City Council

Project Type: Government

Project Timeframe: Completion 2025

Architects: Athfield Architects


Project Description

Te Matapihi, Wellington’s central library, is undergoing a full re-strengthening and refurbishment in one of the city’s largest investments. The project involves the addition of 49 new piles and foundations, formation of new concrete ground beams and slabs, installation of base isolators and steel braced frames to the existing structure, extensions to levels 2—4 and plantrooms, new facades and a full refurbishment of the interior.

There are many challenges in working with the existing structure, such as maintaining the building’s strength while sections of the structure are removed; relocating existing services outside of the building’s movement zone; and piling beneath the water table.


The structure will be greatly strengthened by the installation of base isolators and the retro-fitting of steel braced frames. Fifty-to-60 staff are now on site and that is expected to peak at 150-200 as the project hits full capacity.

Te Matapihi closed in March 2019 after it was assessed as a seismic risk. The new-look library will be notably different inside and out and is expected to greatly enhance the vibrancy of the inner city.

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