Te Kete Aronui - Rototuna Library


Community Facilities


Rototuna, Hamilton




Hamilton City Council





While construction for Te Kete Aronui started in early 2022, the journey for the community was much longer than that. A much needed community space was committed to in the Council’s 2018-28 Long-Term Plan. The multi-functional library and community hub includes a cafe, study zones, skate place, outdoor areas, and a play space where the community is able to gather and enjoy.

The design, led by Chow:Hill, weaves rich cultural heritage of the local whenua into the contemporary aesthetic of the facility. Te Kete Aronui refers to one of the three baskets of knowledge collected by Taawhaki in the Maaori legend. The name reflects the role of the library as a community space for learning and knowledge.

The building has been designed with a dramatic roof line made of glulaminated timber rafters. The 900x180mm rafters are supporters on concrete columns with steel junctions at a grid of 18x9m, resulting in dramatically long spans. The exposed rafters reflect the weaving/kete narrative that runs throughout the library. Attention to detail was paramount, with structural steel, concrete columns, and glulam rafters as exposed finishes.

The facility has proven to be a successful addition to the community, with 100,000 visitors to the library in the first 12 weeks, and 900 new members, identifying Te Kete Aronui as their home library.

Photography: Amanda Aitken Photography