Not to be confused with the lollies kids threw at adults in the cinema, the rather impolite acronym JAFA, encapsulates the North-South divide. Once a stereotype for Aucklanders being swanky, Lycra wearing, flat white drinking snobs, the term JAFA is reinterpreted as a celebration of Auckland’s autonomy from the rest of the country.
As an idiosyncratic response to the brief, The Auckland Central Library is reimagined as a public joy occupying the Bledisloe House: a 1950s modernist building neighbouring Aotea Square.
The building is re-clad with a reglit glass façade, obscuring the existing structure within a cloud of mist – an overt reference to Aotearoa, ‘land of the long white cloud’, and the circulation is hijacked from tower cranes that clutter Auckland’s skyline.
Influenced by film, art, and other media, the proposal hyper rationalises the 21st Century Library into four programmatic devices. The Stage is an urban living room, the Study is a hot-desking zone, the Shop is a Māori carving school, and the Vault is an uprooted bunker containing archival material.
As a result, the architecture advocates for the Auckland Central Library to celebrate its context and proposes an urban delight, much like the orange coated chocolate centred confectionery: Jaffas.