Green Square library & plaza design moves ahead
Since winning the City’s international design competition for a new library and civic plaza at Green Square in 2013, emerging architects Stewart Hollenstein have been working closely with the City and community to develop their concept into an exciting new precinct for the Green Square community.
Following community feedback on the concept design in 2013, and ongoing design development, a number of refinements have been made to the concept design, which are outlined below.
Design will progress to a development application in mid 2014. Construction is due to commence in 2015. View photos in the photo gallery and download the concept design from the document library.
About the design
A bold new plaza will front Botany Road to create flexible public space and transport hub surrounded by new retail, dining and residential development. The plaza affords views to the east of the new Zetland Avenue and the Drying Green park, which will form the green lungs of the Green Square Town Centre.
The new Green Square library is centrally located below the plaza, creating an open community living room with dynamic sunken gardens connecting the to the activity at ground level. The sculptural architecture of the library punctuates the plaza surface to offer a café and grand entry.
A slender tower rises from the main library floor giving views over the plaza and new town centre and contains flexible rooms for learning, reading, music and community use.
Since the competition, the design has been refined to a greater level of detail, including changes to the following:
- A shared pedestrian vehicle zone along the northern boundary of the plaza in lieu of a bus corridor;
- Simplified landscape with more clear open space for public enjoyment;
- Increased size of the glazed entry foyer for library and community events;
- Welcoming, accessible entry gradients at both sides of the plaza from Botany Road, increasing the connection to the town centre and the adjacent retail and dining;
- Deletion of sun lounges on tracks for improved seating flexibility and safety;
- Shifted position of the tower and triangle to improve the plaza spaces around the building;
- Improved acoustic treatments;
- Simplified library layout with more private study spaces and quiet zones in the main floor;
- Added floor level in the tower for community use;
- Increased storage;
- Improved café and access to public toilet on plaza level; and
- Increased specification of water proofing system to basement.
The Green Square plaza: A civic square, including paved multifunctional space for events, and some soft landscaping. During concept design, the plaza has been rationalised to offer greater clarity, wayfinding and functionality in the open space. The effect of a clearing within an encircling grove of foliage sets up the plaza to visually connect Botany Road to the new easterly boulevard of Zetland Avenue and the Drying Green. Importantly, the design retains good daylight access with appropriate summer shading on the sunnier southern side of the plaza. The plaza design relates to the Zetland Avenue Boulevard, continuing a street edge structure of trees and footpath width along the northern boundary building line, this also anticipates light rail. The scope includes provision for transport corridor on the northern edge and allowance for a future light rail terminal.
Library entry and foyer space: The main entry at the western end of the plaza is a tall glazed triangle pavilion clearly visible from Botany Road with doors facing the northern pedestrian route and train station. The foyer includes a library welcome point, self-check-out computer, open reserve shelving and newspaper collection, this ensures that the entry experience is immediately a library experience and is not separated from the floor below. It will be possible to open the Entry triangle while the main library floor is closed, meaning that, for example early morning book drop or reserve pick-up can be operated in extended hours with reduced staffing. The gallery foyer has been increased in size to make it useful for library or community functions such as book launches, exhibitions or community hub days. The entry foyer includes lift access and grand staircase to the main floor below.
Café in foyer: Included in the foyer is a café space designed to be commercially tenanted with seating for 50 patrons, liquor licence and with outdoor seating. The café is integrated with the open plan foyer and is designed to allow a shared library and café experience.