Event Space / Parking Court
The library is located to the south end of the site in order to leave the north end, which is contiguous with the public park, open as public space. This open space runs across the entire north end of the site and expands on the east at the entry to the library. A ‘parking court’ is located within this open space, extending the existing line of parking which runs along the south edge of the park to the west.
Gates at either end of the public space transform the ‘parking court’ into an enlarged ‘event space’ for community celebrations and occasion, such as a used book fair, a children’s festival, a community barbeque.
Upon entering the library, the community of library users unfolds before you; the main reading area forms a terrace immediately ahead, while the lecture hall falls off in a slope to your right, the library reception edges the space and the long circulation counter/new books wall guides you to the smaller children’s terrace tucked under the main reading terrace above.
The library is organized on 4 levels which are connected by a series of reading terraces. The main reading terrace connects the entry level to the collections level above. A secondary reading terrace continues the upward path to the digital media lab tucked up under the roof form. Moving down from the entry level, the children’s performance, story-telling and reading terrace connects to the children’s library below. The lecture hall terrace connects down to community services and culture rooms, forming a suite of related community spaces. (All levels are also connected by the elevator).
Main Platform: The entry level contains the lobby, circulation desk, book return, back-of-house services, new book display, and an auditorium. It has clear access to the main reading terrace and children’s story telling terrace.
Second Level Platform: The majority of the book stacks which house the print collection are located on the second level, along with newspapers, magazine display, and intimate reading areas.
Attic Platform: The digital media lab is on a mezzanine located above the book stacks, under the roof. While this level is dedicated to digital media, all areas of the library have wireless access.
Lower Platform: The children’s library is accessible from the entry level via the children’s story/event terrace and, separately, directly from an exterior sunken garden court. At the library’s main entrance, people cross a vestibule ‘bridge’ that overlooks the children’s area. Below, walls are mirrored to reflect light in, to fracture the world above and project it down like a kaleidoscope. Translucent glass floors in the seating areas of the main reading terrace above are skylights to the children’s terrace below. Soft circles of light are projected from above with people acting as ever-moving cloud shadows. Views to the garden court project washes of green light from the north-east. The light in the children’s library is containing, diverse in quality and curious.
Also located on this lower level is the suite of meeting / multi-purpose rooms. These public rooms are accessible from the main level via a terraced ramp that runs alongside the lecture hall. They can also be entered from the garden court.
Day / Night
The library can be divided. The garden court to the northwest leads to a separate community entrance. During hours when the library is closed, this entrance gives access to the lower entrance lobby and to the suite of serviced public rooms (meeting rooms, the lecture hall, public toilets and coat storage). An operable glass wall separates the lecture hall from the library at the main level entrance lobby. The children’s library simply locks its doors. The library becomes a community cultural center with extended hours of use, with an outdoor terrace for events and good rental opportunities.
Structure / Building Envelope
The structure of the library is comprised of reinforced concrete floor slabs supported on reinforced concrete bearing walls and columns, enclosed within a timber shell. This shell has material, structural and formal virtues. It is made from wood, the only renewable structural material, in straight lengths and conventional sizes – staggered 4.8m lengths of 100mm x 200mm and 100mm x 350mm timber connected by .6m lengths of blocking to form a reciprocal frame - sheathed by 3 layers of 13mm plywood. The timber members rotate slowly across arcs which describe the vertices of the building to create generous curvilinear forms. The resulting ‘ruled surface’ form acts monolithically as a shell structure to greatly enhance the structural performance of the timber and plywood assembly. Sections within the shell are prefabricated within a factory into 1.9m wide panels of varying length, filled with high-pressure spray-applied polyurethane insulation, clad with a self-adhering, self-sealing waterproof membrane, and then assembled on site. This will improve both construction quality and on-site productivity. The exterior surface of the shell is covered in-situ with 60mm of architectural ‘shotcrete’, a secondary waterproof and anti-crack isolation membrane and finished with ceramic tile.
Energy / Interior Environment
The energy and environmental control systems of the library are designed to achieve an ultra-low total energy demand of 50 kwh/m2 /yr. This is accomplished through a combination of passive solar design strategies and highly efficient active mechanical and electrical systems. Passive strategies include a high performance building envelope with limited areas of high performance, north-facing glazing. Active systems include radiant heating and cooling distributed through the concrete portions of the structure, coupled with a solar thermal energy source, and displacement ventilation which is supplied at low levels within occupied spaces and exhausted at the high points of the building volume. Electrical systems are direct current and utilize LED luminaires for lighting and wireless telecommunications.
Roof / Wall Assembly
- ceramic tile c/w stain-proof epoxy based grout on a polymer-fortified antimicrobial latex thin-set mortar bed, on a spray-applied self-curing liquid rubber polymer secondary waterproofing and crack isolation membrane
- polymer-fortified antimicrobial smooth latex mortar skim coat on architectural shotcrete c/w integral cementitious crystalline waterproofing concrete admixture, mono-filament polyolefin macro fiber reinforcement, and structural hot-dipped galvanized, or epoxy coated, welded wire fabric reinforcement
- galvanized steel splice plates along prefabricated panel joints
- prefabricated panels clad with self-adhered self-sealing modified bitumen roofing underlayment on a bonded plywood deck c/w galvanized steel lag bolts installed along primary framing members with automatic torque and depth control device, high pressure spray-applied polyurethane insulation, primary and secondary timber framing members with intermittent timber blocking
- surface-applied fabric upholstered absorptive acoustical panels