Name of the Library: Customs House Library
Parent Organisation: City of Sydney
Street Address: 31 Alfred Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Postal Address: GPO BOX 1591 Sydney 2001
Telephone : +0292428555
Web : http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/explore/libraries/branches/customs-house-library
Library Email: email@example.com
Type of Library: Joint use
Project Type : Conversion
Size Library occupies three floors of Customs House
Date of Completion: 2005
Architects: Lacoste + Stevenson Architects (Coordinating Architect – PTW, Heritage Architect – Tanner Architects)
Customs House Library is located at Circular Quay on the doorstep of Sydney CBD and Sydney Harbour in one of Sydney’s landmark historical buildings. Spread over three floors the library features a number of flexible spaces, including lounge areas, a beautiful traditional quiet study space, exhibition spaces, computer facilities, Wifi, IT training facilities, and quality collections.
As part of the City of Sydney Library Network, Customs House Library regularly hosts a range of innovative and engaginig events, including the Late Night Library series, Classics at Customs and Lunches with Bite.
Awards, case studies, further information
2006 Royal Australian Institute of Architects (NSW Chapter) Awards
Category: Public Buildings – Interiors
Winner: Lacoste + Stevenson Architects
Australia’s Favourite Library, ALIA, 2014
Local Government Arts & Culture Awards 2014
Developing Arts and Culture: Libraries and Literature: Late Night Library, Council of the City of Sydney
“The Infinite Library”
Stead, Naomi. Monument No 76 2006/07 pp 64-68
Name of the Library: Surry Hills Library
Parent Organisation: City of Sydney Council
Street Address: 405 Crown Street Surry Hills 2010
Postal Address: Same as above
Telephone : 61 02 83746230
Type of Library : Multipurpose building
Population served: City of Sydney (local government area) population 191,918, Surry Hills (village catchment) population 15,348
Project Type: Refurbishment
Size (square metres): 898m2
Date of Completion: Opened 2009
Architect: Richard Francis Jones from FJMT
Key building features:
The new Surry Hills Library and Community Centre has been designed to achieve measurable standards of excellence in sustainable design and, ultimately, set new benchmarks in environmental performance for hybrid public buildings. Some examples are:
• Rainwater will be collected, treated and re-used for the flushing of toilets and watering the environmental atrium plants and Collins Street Reserve lawn.
• Achieving a high quality Indoor Environment is a key goal for the project and the building’s geo thermal cooling provides access to clean air with a low energy cost
• A photovoltaic array consisting of some 40 roof mounted solar panels
• High levels of natural day-lighting throughout the building and daylight controlled light fixtures
• Solar tracking louver façade to minimise direct light penetration to control glare and thermal gains
• Effective insulation of the building envelope including the Green Roof and ventilated facades, where natural grasses reduce energy loss through the roof and the façade cladding zone is ventilated to minimize thermal gains
• Movement controlled lighting which ensures lights turn off automatically when empty of people
Building materials have been specially selected for their durability so as to reduce maintenance and material replacement through the building’s life cycle. Waste management strategies and recycling have been adopted throughout construction and when the building is occupied there will be a centralised collection and sorting facility.
Sustainable material use includes:
– a post-tensioning structural system that reduces the quantity of concrete required for structural framing
– use of alternative materials to PVC for plumbing and electrical services
– Finishes that contain low levels of products which harm the environment such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
– Timber products sourced from sustainable forests
Surry Hills Library is part of the City of Sydney Library Network and regularly hosts a range of innovate and engaging events, such as the Late Night Library series this event offers Sydneysiders a range of exciting events on Thursday nights, from storytelling sessions and current affairs debates to live music performances and film screenings.
Awards, case studies, further information
2014 Local Government Arts & Culture Awards
2011 Best New Global Design award International Architecture Awards Chicago
National Award for Sustainable Architecture and National Award for Public Architecture at the National Architecture Awards
Public Architecture Award, Milo Dunphy Award for Sustainable Architecture and John Verge Award for Interior Architecture at the NSW Architecture Awards
Environmental Excellence Award at the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s NSW Awards
The Green Globe Award for Local Government Sustainability at the NSW Department of Environment’s Awards
Excellence in Construction – Public Building Award at the Master Builders Association Awards
Award for Excellence in Sustainability at the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating Awards
Sustainability Award at the Building Product News Awards
Second place in the Emilio Ambasz Award for Green Architecture
Finalist in the National Interior Design Awards
Finalist in the United Nations World Environment Day Awards
Finalist in the Banksia Environment Awards
Highly Commended in the Asia Pacific Property Awards
Highly Commended in the Interior Design of Excellence Awards
Highly Commended in the Australian Timber Design Awards for a NSW Public/Commercial Building and Best Use of Timber Panels.
Type of Library: Joint use
Population served: 15,000
Project Type: New Building
Size: (square metres): 896m2
Date of Completion: November 2012
Architect: Building by Hassells Architects
Interior Design & Fitout by CK Design International
Description With a panoramic vista as the backdrop, the Blue Mountains City Library opened the new Katoomba Library branch on Saturday 17 November, 2012.
Situated within the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, the Library boasts the best views of any Library in the southern hemisphere. With plenty of natural light and lots of comfortable spaces for diverse community activities, it is also the first new library to be built in the Blue Mountains for over 30 years. The design, developed by CK Design International, is elegant and spacious, taking advantage of the location to provide breath-taking views of the Katoomba Township and the Jamison Valley beyond.
Since the grand opening, there has been a steady stream of members and visitors, with new membership rates across the library network increasing by up to 87%. Fortunately, the new building has nearly 3 times more space to accommodate this increase! Numbers through the door doubled immediately and have continued to grow, month by month!
The new library includes adjustable meeting rooms, an inviting children’s area with specialised seating, and a mezzanine level with a brilliant view and lots of comfortable lounges allowing people to sit back and appreciate living in a World Heritage listed area. A laptop bench with plenty of access to power points and an increase in the number of computers available to the public have quickly proved themselves to be valuable aspects of the new library.
Meeting rooms host a number of events, from Author talks, to book launches, Poetry Slams, Children’s School Holiday activities, Storytimes, writing workshops, book groups and so much more. The Library has become an integral community hub.
If you haven’t had a chance to see this impressive new building yet, it is well worth a visit. Make a day of it and browse the library, tour the Art Gallery and Blue Mountains World Heritage Exhibition, get lunch or a coffee from the Cultural Centre Café.
The overall winner, and winner of the Education category, was the impressive design by CK Design International of the Katoomba Library. A playful and inspiring interior, the judges commented, “How wonderful that a public project was able to be created into a comfortable healthy space that feels like you are in your own living room. The coupling of green interior products and design in this public building enables an extended reach of education about sustainability.”
Name of the Library: Ryde Library
Parent Organisation: Council of the City of Ryde
Street Address: 1 Pope St, RYDE NSW 2112
Postal Address: Locked Bag 2069, North Ryde 1680
Telephone : (+612) 9952 8352
(incl Country code)
Web Address: http://www.ryde.nsw.gov.au/library
Library Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Library Central/ Main Library
Population served: 124, 505
Project Type : New Building
Size (square metres): 2031
Date of Completion: May 2011
Architect: Graham Bakewell Architects
Ryde Library is an inspiration of light, colour and activity, designed to create an inviting people space. Its clever use of subtle design elements creates a fresh, clean look that seamlessly guides foot traffic and meets the diverse needs of library users. Located next to the restaurants of a bustling shopping centre, the library is in an ideal location to be the heart of its community.
Its key strengths can be detailed in two ways; its form and flexibility.
In terms of form, Ryde Library has streamlined the traditional library model by zoning its floor plan and controlling curve and shape to direct pedestrian traffic. Areas are co-located by noise level and purpose. The entrance to the library gives way to a cathedral like area where computers, graphic novels and junior fiction are grouped in an exciting area. Long, stretching windows festooned with lounge chairs fill this vibrant and high energy space with light and the sprawling vista of the bustling highway below. There can be no mistake, with its array of comfortable chairs and tables, this area is intended for collaboration. The second, quieter area forested with the collection and desk/booth style seating is the domain of quiet study and book perusal, flagged by a lower ceiling and the nested design of the shelving.
An innovative use of curves and angles attracts the eye and prompts library users into a walking flow that offers them a view of all available areas as they pass before delivering them directly into the library’s extensive collection. Colours also interplay with shape to allow for the easy identification of key areas. Walls curve and stretch, blazoned in a bright orange that pulls the library user into the space. This is complemented by orange and green lounging chairs which line walls and furnish nooks to keep the eye engaged. Angled rooms combine with angled shelving configurations to encourage users to leave no path unexplored.
In terms of flexibility, the library floor plan is easily worked into multiple configurations. With all its shelving on wheels and with movable furniture, the library can be moulded to fit its current purpose or need. Events and programs with larger audiences can easily be accommodated by adjusting shelving placement and supplying additional lightweight seating that would normally reside out of sight in nearby storage. For example, large authors platform events with journalist Paul Barry (2014) and astronomer Fred Watson (2013) that brought over one hundred attendees were easily furnished through the innate dexterity of the floor plan. Wheeled tables in meeting rooms allow for space repurposing for small events of fifty or less. Cushioned ‘lilypads’ and bollards transform the children’s area from an exploratory, self-determined space into a welcoming, softer zone for Rhymetimes and Storytimes where library staff can seamlessly create parking space for prams, direct incoming pedestrian traffic and engage audiences of one hundred or more at a time. After the session, the area easily returned to its former glory with the reintroduction of games and equipment, including a giant chess set.
This flexibility also allows the accommodation of ‘reading nooks’ and ‘genre rooms’ as library shelving can be easily moved to create corners and enclosed areas. These inviting alcoves, fitted with low tables and lounge chairs, create a feeling of comfort and protection. These niches surround the reader in their subject or genre of choice – Students, for example, throng together in the science and technology section as they study and use the resources (and gossip too) while the Lee Child enthusiast will pull up a chair in the curve of the crime and mystery section, looking over to the thriller section, encasing them in a visual representation of their favourite stories and novels. Well placed television screens provide a rotating presentation of library events and information, while a large projection screen beyond the service desk provides an ever-changing display of favourite literary quotes, poems and artworks to inspire readers old and new. Power sockets and library wifi allow users to choose any area that pleases them.
Ryde Library continues to experience growth in visits, loans and wifi logins which demonstrates its growing role in the local community. Its clear and distinctive design makes it an evident landmark and a vibrant community space. Its form provides easy access to its treasures, as its flexibility tailors to the breadth of the library’s services.