The library as a public space

An underground library in Sydney's Green Square public plaza has opened, described as a 'space-making not space-taking' design project.

03 Jan 2019

undefinedGreen Square Library

Architects Stewart Hollenstein with Stewart Architecture won a global design competition and created the stunning and functional design.

Built using complex engineering techniques on land that was once a swamp, Green Square Library is a 2,300 square metre open space with 40 skylights across the roof to provide natural light.

At its centre is a subterranean garden that offers a quiet space to read in the fresh air. There is also an amphitheatre and a café.

A striking 6-storey glass tower emerges above the plaza. It houses a technology lab, a music room with a piano for practice and rehearsals, community and meeting rooms, and a dedicated children’s area.

A big catalyst for the design was for the building to be generous and accessible posing the question, public building or public space? The architects turned the brief on its head and designed an underground library to make the public space the hero. Set within what will be Sydney’s highest density development and hemmed in by apartments – the project creates a highly animated 8,000 sq. metre public plaza.

Source: City of Sydney Council/ Australasian Leisure Management