Public Library of the Year Award

The winning library was announced at IFLA in August. The award was made to Craigieburn Library, Hume City, Victoria, Australia.

4 September 2014

Other shortlisted libraries were The Library of Birmingham; Bookmountain Library, Spijkenisse, The Netherlands; Ørestad Library, Denmark. 

The international award was established by schmidt hammer lassen architects in association with the Danish Agency for Culture.

A library for the city and its inhabitants

Through a collaboration between the architectural firm, Hume City Council and the community, the library shows how a contemporary library as a public building can help set high design standards for a new civic and community.

Surroundings and architecture

Craigieburn Library stands out as a significant modern construction with a strong, recognisable architectural concept that is characterised by a simple design using few but powerful materials. The building's main form, with its long horizontal lines, has a clear reference to the Australian landscape, so that the building is beautifully balanced with its surroundings. The landscape is also the inspiration for the choice of materials, and the use of locally-sourced rammed earth gives the facade a light and warm setting, staging the building as if it has shot up through the soil.

It is also of great architectural value that the building is oriented in such a way as to take account of the Australian weather with its burning sun. This can be seen in the way the building opens up towards the north with large glass windows that make the building seem welcoming and inspiring to the surrounding community. At the same time, the large roof louvres create a natural transition from the outside to the inside and provide a powerful and aesthetic shade far into the building. 

A building for flexible use

The building functions with high quality in an inviting, informal and human scale. With its open and flexible spaces, the library is transformed into a democratic space, inviting diversity and interaction. The library is an important new facility for the rapidly expanding community within the City of Hume. In addition to library services, the building also interacts with different partners, including an art gallery, a café, childcare facilities, computer training centres, and meeting and functional spaces. 

A building for flexible use
The building functions with high quality in an inviting, informal and human scale. With its open and flexible spaces, the library is transformed into a democratic space, inviting diversity and interaction. The library is an important new facility for the rapidly expanding community within the City of Hume. In addition to library services, the building also interacts with different partners, including an art gallery, a café, childcare facilities, computer training centres, and meeting and functional spaces. It is integrated so that the library can reach out to a wide array of users.

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