The Hocken Library
Time & Location
About the Event
FREE / koha
Visit the Hocken Library in Anzac Ave - an excellent example of successful adaptive reuse of an industrial building.
Originally home to Huia dairy products, the building has a fascinating history. It was extensively renovated in 1998 to accommodate the Hocken Collections. The interior was more or less gutted, with the reorganised space including a large foyer, gallery, public reference area, reading rooms, public lunch room (now researcher lounge), staff areas, and stacks.
With an area of 5,000 square metres, it provided nearly twice the area occupied by the old library buildings. The gallery allowed visitors to engage much more effectively with the collections, particularly the pictorial collections.
Preserved internal features include curved plaster walls, steel trusses and exposed timber joists. Two doors with frosted-glass decoration (moved from the entrance) each feature a pair of huia, as used in the co-op’s branding.
The building retains the sympathetic colour scheme given to it at this time, of yellow-creams and gold, with grey-green metal joinery. One of the more obvious external changes was the replacement of steel-framed windows with aluminium ones.
The Hocken is open Monday to Saturday 10.00am to 5.00pm and visitors are welcome.
Image credit: Grutness CC BY-SA 3.0