Tag Archives: Australia

Craigieburn Library, Hume, Victoria, Australia

Craigieburn Exterior Name of the library:  Craigieburn Library
Parent organisation:  Hume City Council

Street address:  Hume Global Learning Centre – Craigieburn
75-95 Central Park Avenue,  Craigieburn Victoria 3064
Postal address:  P.O. Box 119    Dallas Victoria 3047
Telephone:   61393566980
Web  :  www.humelibraries.vic.gov.au  www.hume.vic.gov.au
Library email:   libraries@hume.vic.gov.au
Type of library: Public library
Population served: 39,891 (as at 30 June 2014)
Project type:  new building
Size:   Total public access footprint: 3,338.5 m²
Total building footprint: 4,040.50 m²
Total library footprint: 1,072m²
Date of completion: May 2012
Architect:  Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT)

Craigieburn Interior Description
In 2014, Craigieburn Library was named ‘International Public Library of the Year’ at a prestigious awards ceremony in France.

The facility, located within the Hume Global Learning Centre – Craigieburn, was given the award over libraries from  England, the Netherlands and Denmark. The honour was presented at the annual International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) congress in Lyon, France and was sponsored by the Danish firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen architects.

The committee of judges chose Craigieburn Library because it “distinguishes itself as a significant modern construction with a strong, recognisable architectural concept. With its open and flexible space, the library creates a democratic meeting place, open to diversity and interaction (and) is a good example of how Hume City has used a library to create a sense of belonging for all demographic groups as both a learning centre and gathering space for the city”.

The Hume Global Learning Centre – Craigieburn, including Craigieburn Library was a collaborative effort between Hume City Council and the architects Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp and provides a range of services under one roof. In addition to the library, there is an exhibition gallery, occasional care program, cafe, Council’s Customer Service Centre and a state-of-the-art training and conference facility. Craigieburn Interior 2 With a footprint of just over 4000 square metres, the centre incorporates the best of community facilities, the latest in technology, and advances in sustainable design. The building is a series of interlocking pavilions of varying height and scale. The two-storey central library reading space is flooded in natural light, while the lower ceiling of the children’s library creates a cosy area for little ones.

The facility uses locally-sourced earth as the primary building material, with rammed earth walls providing a natural transition from the ground into structure. The design provides a warm, friendly and sustainable facility that invites people to take advantage of the external shaded courtyards as well as the building interior.

The Hume Libraries service has been recognised not only for design excellence but for delivering exceptional services to our community. In May 2014, Hume Libraries was named Australia’s Favourite Library Service, receiving over 30,000 votes in a nation-wide search by the Australian Library and Information Association.

In September 2014, the Hume Libraries service was also the first public library in Australia to receive eSmart status. The eSmart initiative, developed in partnership by The Alannah and Madeline Foundation and Telstra, aims to increase cyber-safety and deals with cyber-bullying by changing behaviours. This means that Libraries’ staff can teach residents use technology in a smart, safe and responsible way.

Nearly 530,000 users visit Hume Libraries each year, and borrow more than 992,000 items. The Hume Libraries membership rate is 59.1% – well above the Victorian average of 49.1% – and proof that Hume City locals love their libraries!


Campaspe Regional Library, Echuca, Victoria, Australia

day eighty one 022
Entrance to the Library

Name of the Library: Campaspe Regional Library
Parent Organisation: Shire of Campaspe

Street Address: 310 Hare Street, Echuca, 3564, Victoria, Australia
Postal Address: PO Box 35, Echuca, 3564, Victoria, Australia
Telephone :61354812400
Web Address: http://www.campaspe.vic.gov.au/library
Library Email: libraries@ campaspe.vic.gov.au/library

Type of Library :Central/ Main Library , Regional Library
Population served:46,000
Project Type:  New Building
Size (square metres):1300
Date of Completion: 24/08/2014
Architect:Brian Mathieson, Perrott Lyon Mathieson


View of the river from the Library
View of the river from the Library

Although a very long time in the planning, it has certainly been worth the wait.  The new Campaspe Regional Library in Echuca was officially opened on August 24, 2012 and since that first moment it has been embraced by the community and it has certainly become the community hub it was destined to be.

The previous library which served the Echuca/Moama district for over 50 years was in a very small and inadequate building with only 280sqm of public floor space.  A collection of close to 40,000 was literally bursting at the seams, let alone the difficulty to provide comfortable and welcoming spaces for people and the provision of technology related items.

For many years the Campaspe Shire sought to find the most appropriate location for this well used and popular community facility.  In 2010 Council decided to proceed with the construction of a new building on the corner of Hare and Heygarth Street, Echuca.  An absolutely perfect position with the mighty Murray River and the riverine environment as a backdrop while still remaining close to the CBD and other Council services.

The architects worked very diligently with the community and a range of stakeholders to ensure that the design was sensitive to the environment, as well as being respectful of the War Memorial which was situated on the south west corner of the available footprint.  It was important to retain a sense of transparency through to the rivergums and the river and also desirable from within the building to be have a sense of connectedness and harmony with the environment.   This was achieved and the view over the river, the Port of Echuca and the paddlesteamers passing by is the envy of many.   A very quiet and respectful part of the library is situated behind the War Memorial which allows for a sense of reverence and contemplation.  Special collections including two privately donated military collections add to this atmosphere in beautifully designed cabinets along the western wall.

pmma award photos 045

External building features include pre-loved timbers from the recently decommissioned historic wharf, specially designed ironbark canopies draw you in to the library.  There is a marvellous book feature to the left of the front entry doors which highlights all the other service points the library serves.  Local indigenous emblems have been incorporated into the signage throughout the building.  The design is pragmatic, yet iconic and is very identifiable as a library.

Internal features include flexible shelving, with about 60% being mobile.  There are two meeting rooms which can be accessed after hours without impacting on the security of the rest of the library.  Everything is situated on one level and is very accessible to all ages and abilities.  The amenities include a beautiful parent’s room, thus providing a very important facility for residents and visitors to the region.   The building has been designed in a way so that whatever the weather may be outside it will draw in the natural light with skylights right through the middle, as well as alcoves protecting the patrons from the harsh summer sun and gorgeous full length glass windows that allow the winter sun in.   The youth area features gaming units and custom designed banquette booths that encourage young people to sit, study and socialise together.  Locally donated wooden tables and chairs add to the ambience of the building and are very conducive for studying, either in groups or individually.  The library was opened in the National Year of Reading and there are two large signs within the library that will serve as an ongoing legacy and reminder of this special year.

A number of partnerships have assisted with providing special collections and resources including the Friends of the Library who raised enough money to furnish the library throughout.  The Echuca
Lions Club provided additional funding to purchase resources and assistive technology for people with impaired vision.  The library has a close relationship with the Community Living and Respite Services (CLRS) and it houses a collection for families and individuals with ASD.

There have been two noticeable changes in usage, firstly the visitation numbers through the door have gone from about 5000 per month to 15000 per month, even after nearly two years of operation this has remained steady.  And secondly it is all the activity that the library now creates with a wide variety of clubs and organisations using the building each week to meet, to learn and to socialise.   The previous library could not provide the space that now allows people to come together for clubs such as chess, cards, crochet, photography, lego, computers, knitting and more recently the inter-cultural club which welcomes CALD people to the area.   A wide range of early literacy programs are held including toddler rhymetime, storytimes, baby/parents rhymetime, holiday activities, homework help and reading clubs.  Activities for adults include book chats, book clubs, special events, music events (we even have a piano), health and wellbeing talks.  The list goes on… and on many occasions these activities are happening concurrently.   It is due to the space, the acoustic treatment and flexibility that they don’t impact on each other; they actually complement each other instead.    There is natural sense of vibrancy and warmth that is generated by the various activities that occur.

Even on a quiet day it is still lovely to walk around and watch people enjoy the space, they feel welcome and comfortable to have a coffee or byo lunch.  Accessing the electronic world we live in is encouraged with study benches, free wifi and lap top tables that look out to the river.  There is a central reading area to access the newspaper, browse the magazines, access reference material, pick up your reservation or take part in the community jigsaw.  Lots of really nice features that say this is a library, you are welcome and please stay a while.

In 2013 the Campaspe Regional Library was awarded the Project Management Award Community Services and/or Development, Victoria by the Project Management Association Australia, Victoria Chapter.  It was then part of the PMAA National Awards.
A history of the project was presented in a paper to the By Design Conference in November 2013.

In 2014 the Library was awarded the Pierre Gorman Award from the State Library of Victoria to deliver the Being Connected : Libraries and Autism Project in partnership with CLRS which it is currently working on.  The project key deliverable is to undertake a sensory audit of all libraries within the region to improve their internal environment and program delivery for people with ASD.
A large number of amazing events have been held with huge visitation numbers including the Community Celebration Day, Dinosaur Exhibition from the National Dinosaur Museum, Jazz in your loungeroom, Melbourne Writers Festival, High Road to Reading, Free Comic Book Day, Winter Blues Festival, Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll, Landcare Awards and the Australian Poetry Slam regional heat 2013.

It has become a vibrant, cultural, educational and recreational facility with only more good things to come.
Awards, case studies, further information
In 2013 the Campaspe Regional Library was awarded the Project Management Award Community Services and/or Development, Victoria by the Project Management Association Australia, Victoria Chapter.  It was then part of the PMAA National Awards.
A history of the project was presented in a paper to the By Design Conference in November 2013.

In 2014 the Library was awarded the Pierre Gorman Award from the State Library of Victoria to deliver the Being Connected : Libraries and Autism Project in partnership with CLRS which it is currently working on.  The project key deliverable is to undertake a sensory audit of all libraries within the region to improve their internal environment and program delivery for people with ASD.

A large number of amazing events have been held with huge visitation numbers including the Community Celebration Day, Dinosaur Exhibition from the National Dinosaur Museum, Jazz in your loungeroom, Melbourne Writers Festival, High Road to Reading, Free Comic Book Day, Winter Blues Festival, Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll, Landcare Awards and the Australian Poetry Slam regional heat 2013.

It has become a vibrant, cultural, educational and recreational facility with only more good things to come.


Customs House Library, Sydney, NSW, Australia

The Exterior of Customs House
The Exterior of Customs House

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: library@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au
Type of Library: Joint use
Population served:
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 Reading Room
Customs House Library Reading Room

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.

Customs House Library, interior Photograph K Joss
Customs House Library, interior
Photograph K Joss

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


Surry Hills Library, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Surry Hills Library and Community Centre Photo  John Gollings
Surry Hills Library and Community Centre
Photo John Gollings

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
Web :http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/explore/libraries/branches/surry-hills-library
Library Email:library@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au
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

Surry Hills Library John Gollings
Surry Hills Library
John Gollings

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.



Williamstown Library, Victoria, Australia

The external of the Williamstown Library. Photo: Alan Baxter
The external of the Williamstown Library. Photo: Alan Baxter

Name of the Library:  Williamstown Library
Parent Organisation:  Hobsons Bay Libraries

Street Address: 104 Ferguson Street, Williamstown, Victoria 3016
Postal Address: as above
Telephone : +61 1300 462 542
Web Address  http://libraries.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.auLibrary Email  library@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au

Type of Library: District Library
Population served: Primary catchment of 13,000 , secondary catchment of approximately 22,000
Project Type: New Building in a heritage precinct
Size (square metres): 1399m2
Date of Completion: September 2012
Architect: Sally Draper with Mitsouri Architects


Williamstown Library Children’s Area
Williamstown Library Children’s Area Photo: Trevor Mein

Williamstown, situated on a peninsula eight kilometres south-west of Melbourne, is the oldest continuous settlement on the shores of Port Phillip.

The design of the Williamstown Library is based on an understanding of Williamstown as a unique place within Melbourne, characterised by a strong sense of identity and community.
It is contemplated not as a standalone building but as an integral part of its urban context. The site spans two distinct precincts: the historic Town Hall precinct to the west, and the retail precinct to the east. The design approach allows the library to act as a “bridge” between these two different urban environments.

Williamstown’s maritime heritage is reflected in the building’s architectural features with the use of ply in the timber bridge as well as the curved form with wooden beams alluding to Williamstown’s history in boat building. The extensive use of wood and the translucent polycarbonate create a calm and airy feel to the library space. Fifty or so browsers, readers, researchers, students or PC users seem to have little impact on the overall sense of calm.

The architects saw the library as two interlinked components. A softly curved translucent structure houses a double height reading room, whilst the ancillary spaces are within a rectilinear, bluestone wall. The bluestone is punctured by a series of deeply set openings acting as a threshold or filter between the cultural realm of the Town Hall precinct and the commercial areas to the east. A series of flexible community gathering spaces are created  between the Town Hall and the library . A sheltered sun lit courtyard to the north opens off the UCAN library café and to the south generous timber step seats spill out onto the Town Hall forecourt providing an engaging and comfortable meeting place.

The Williamstown Library incorporates strong environmentally sustainable design (ESD) goals with solutions integrated into the building fabric. This was achieved through innovative design of the building envelope, thoughtful configuration and zoning of spaces, and the integration of a multi-stage hybrid HVAC system designed to balance occupant comfort with energy efficiency.

The HVAC system incorporated into this building is designed to work seamlessly with the spaces and architecture of the building to minimise energy consumption throughout the year. A sub-floor labyrinth covers the entire footprint of the building.  This labyrinth takes in outdoor air below deck level and allows it to filter into the occupied spaces providing passive cooling for much of the year. High level extract vents in the main reading room combined with automated windows in the building spine serve to draw air from the plenum through the occupied spaces thereby providing natural cooling and ventilation to all areas within the building.  As the temperature rises, dampers in the sub-floor plenum close and a VRV system utilises the sub-floor space for distribution of conditioned air into the building. During cooler months when natural ventilation is not possible, heating is achieved through the use of hydronic in slab heating in the main reading room and supplementary air based heating in the ancillary spaces. The energy efficient hydronic system warms the indoor air for the most part and is boosted when required by the VRV system.

Energy efficient lighting, daylight and motion sensors have been incorporated into spaces and an automated night purge system allows for high level extract. A 40,000 litre water tank is located below the main deck and harvests water from the library and part of the town hall roof for re-use in the building. The building features recycled timber and steel composite structural columns, natural Victorian bluestone and low VOC materials and finishes throughout.
The Williamstown Library combines innovative, elegant design with smart sustainable design solutions to create a library that will serve the community now and into the future.

View from the first floor.  Photo: Trevor Mein
View from the first floor. Photo: Trevor Mein

This modern, two storey library has brought new life to Williamstown’s historic arts and civic precinct with the library collection interspersed with attractive reading spaces and  state of the art technology incorporated throughout. There are self serve RFID issue and return  terminals, automated book returns, iPads for casual browsing, PCs and wireless internet and a gaming zone.  The bookshop inspired layout invites the reader to browse the collections, then to sit to read and linger in the nearby chairs.

Williamstown Library is a vibrant meeting place for the local community where visits regularly outstrip loans. The space is flexible to meet the needs of an array of different types of programming. The library runs the usual programs for children such as Rhymetime and Storytime in the colourful children’s area. However, the flexibility of the layout is showcased when larger author events are achieved by wheeling the collection into storage to allow half of the floor space to be set with 150-200 seats. Recent author events included Matthew Reilly and local favourite Andy Griffiths.  While relaxing on the outdoor deck you can plug into recharge your favourite device or enjoy acoustic sets from local musicians as part of the Music on the Deck program. Local community group, Transitions, are supported to meet monthly on the deck to exchange garden produce at ‘fruit and vegetable swaps’ and regular book sales run by the Friends of the Library group provide funds for the library’s programs and services. The deck creates a vibrant and active urban space and the “bridge” between the two buildings. Regular cultural events on the Town Hall calendar such as the Williamstown Literary Festival, the Rotary Art Show, Mobil Night at the Opera and the Antique and Vintage Fashion show spill out from the ballroom to enjoy coffee and drinks at interval.

The first floor Gallery hosts art exhibits from local art clubs, schools and kindergartens, and has hosted several national touring exhibitions, bringing high calibre exhibits to the community’s backyard.  When not in use for exhibitions, the gallery is well used by students at the shared study tables. Views of Melbourne’s city skyline can also be enjoyed from the Gallery.

For those wishing a quieter library experience, the library offers an acoustically treated study room, with peaceful views to the Town Hall and golden elm.

The library experience is enhanced by the aroma of freshly baked muffins and espresso. Library members can enjoy a coffee or bite to eat at the UCAN Cafe.  UCAN Cafe is a social enterprise supported as part of an award winning partnership with Hobsons Bay City council, paying award wage employment and training for young people with disability. This innovative enterprise has provided local youth with over 20,000 hours of employment.

The history of Hobsons Bay is showcased in the dedicated Heritage Room. The room is a haven for family history buffs, curious visitors, and serious researchers and boasts an impressive collection of local history primary and secondary source materials.

Best practice accessibility features include three fully accessible bathrooms, including accessible shower facilities and a hydraulic change table.  The integrated ramp entrances and the lift provided in the linkway provides accessible entry to the Town Hall for the first time in almost 100 years.
Awards, case studies, further information
New Williamstown Library for people as well as books. The Age, April 30th 2014 : http://www.theage.com.au/business/new-williamstown-library-for-people-as-well-as-books-20140429-37fst.html

Williamstown: New Library, Old Spirit: http://williamstownlibrary.weebly.com/history.html

Australian Institute of Architects: 2014 Victorian Architecture Awards – Urban Design (Commendation)


Katoomba Library, NSW, Australia

Katoomba Library and Cultural Centre

Name of the Library: Katoomba Library
Parent Organisation: Blue Mountains City Council

Street Address: 30 Parke St Katoomba NSW 2780 AUSTRALIA
Postal Address: Blue Mountains City Council Locked Bag 1005 Katoomba NSW 2780 AUSTRALIA
Telephone : +612 4780 5750

Web Address: http://www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/yourcommunity/library or http://bluemountainsculturalcentre.com.au/new-katoomba-library/
Library Email: library@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

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

Childrens area with '3 Sisters seating'
Childrens area with ‘3 Sisters seating’

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.

Katoomba Library
Katoomba Library

Awards, case studies, further information



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.”

Ryde Library, NSW, Australia


Ryde Library’s Distinctive Exterior.
Ryde Library’s Distinctive Exterior.

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: rydelibrary@ryde.nsw.gov.au

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 Grand Piano

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.

Ryde Library Genre and Subject Rooms
Ryde Library Genre and Subject Rooms

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.

Eltham Library, Victoria, Australia

Eltham Library
Name of the Library: Eltham Library
Parent Organisation: Yarra Plenty Regional Library Service

Street Address: Panther Place, Eltham, Victoria, Australia, 3095
Postal Address: Panther Place, Eltham, Victoria, Australia, 3095
Telephone : 61 3 9439 9266
(incl Country code)
Web Address http://yprl.vic.gov.au/about/hours-and-locations/eltham/profile
Library Email ypmail@yprl.vic.gov.au

Type of Library District Library
Population served: 22,347
Project Type:
Size (square metres):
Date of Completion: 1994 (original building), 2010 (extension & renovation)
Architect: Greg Burgess

Eltham 1


The award-winning, heritage listed Eltham Library is situated next to parklands and cafes in the Shire of Nillumbik. It offers a unique children’s garden and a beautiful children’s room, a learning lounge and over 40 public computers, a reading lounge with fireplace and a foyer with community art space. There is even an automated book return and sorter!

Eltham 2
• Internet access
• Word processing and publishing software
• Colour photocopier/printer/scanner (to email or USB)
• Café
• Gallery space
• Laptop facilities and study area
• Free WiFi
• Nintendo Wii
• 8 seat learning lounge with PCs (available for community groups to book)
• Children’s garden
• Outdoor reading area
• Adjacent to the picturesque Alistair Knox Park

Ulladulla Library, NSW, Australia

External View,  Ulladulla Library
External View, Ulladulla Library

Name of the Library: Shoalhaven Libraries, Ulladulla
Parent Organisation: Shoalhaven Libraries, Nowra

Street Address: Civic Centre, Princes Highway, Ulladulla NSW 2539
Postal Address: Civic Centre, Princes Highway, Ulladulla NSW 2539
Telephone : +61244448820
Web Address: http://shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au/MyCommunity/Library/Yourlocallibrary/UlladullaLibrary.aspx
Library Email: ulladullalibrary@shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au

Type of Library: Small Community Library
Population served: 20,000
Project Type: New Library
Size (square metres): 600
Date of Completion 28.5.2014
Architect Edmiston Jones Architects

An eye-catching modern building incorporating spectacular floor to ceiling windows that allow natural light to enhance the bright new space.

Four separate study rooms as well as dedicated lounge and reading areas, children’s and young adult spaces allow all patrons to enjoy a tailored experience.

Our collection of books, magazines, DVDs, music CDs and audio books in both CD and MP3 formats has expanded to fit our larger library, which has ramp access and public toilet facilities.

Internet is available free of charge to library members on any of our 12 public computers, and free Wi-Fi is available to everyone.

Lounge Area, Ulladulla Library
Lounge Area, Ulladulla Library

We offer a self-service loan station, online catalogue, printing/photocopying and a charging station for mobile devices.

We deliver a monthly rhymetime (0-18mths) and storytime (2-5years) program and patrons can catch up with the latest media events on one of our state of the art televisions