"This was fundamental to the crafted timber design response," says Strachan.
The children's area has a lowered ceiling and furniture of a smaller scale. Curved, organic-shaped plywood elements wrap the walls and ceiling, providing a visual connection with the natural world, and helping provide acoustic insulation.
Key collected artworks, including a collection of terracotta relief tiles by artist Barry Brickell, have been integrated into the building design, so they can be appreciated more fully.
Not surprisingly, sustainability was another key driver for the design. In addition to passive design features, including ample natural light and shade canopies, the library has an energy-efficient water-based slab heating system. The system is laid within a floating screed on top of the slab, so it heats faster and more efficiently.
Allison Dobbie, Auckland Council's general manager libraries and information, says the new library is attracting nearly twice the average number of visitors each month.
"This building responds to changes in customer expectations of self service, digital and e-book delivery, and provides spaces for people to meet, relax and think.
"We cannot underestimate the impact of good design and physical spaces on the customer experience. Great architecture inspires great human endeavour as does great art, and there are fine examples of both in this building."