News

Green Square’s new underground library receives international accolade

Jennifer Shand Jennifer Shand Australasia Press Office,Sydney
16 January 2019

Our Green Square Library project has taken out Architectural Review’s prestigious Library Award – recognising transformative and leading-edge library projects across the world completed between 2013-2018.

The Library won because of its seamlessly integrated dual focus, with equal importance placed on area for community activities and contemporary library usage. It was commended for considering not only a ‘library’ brief, but Green Square residents’ future need for recreational area among neighbouring developments.

A children's area inside the new Green Square Library A children's area inside the new Green Square Library
The precinct includes a large underground open plan library with high levels of natural light from light wells in the ceiling. © Arup

Arup worked with architects Stewart Hollenstein in association with Stewart Architecture to win a global design competition for the new public library. We provided expertise across 17 engineering disciplines, with the project’s design and construction team collaboratively turning the underground vision into reality in the former marshland area.

Arup’s Australasian Commercial Property Leader Cameron Dymond shared that this win recognises the innovative architectural and engineering achievement in transforming one of Sydney’s oldest industrial areas into not only a library, but a vibrant open and flexible community space.

Taking marshland, below the water table, and converting it into an underground library was a civil and structural engineering feat – but the broader team’s accomplishment is even greater – creating a flexible space for people to engage in learning or enjoy the outdoors in a densely populated urban area. ”

Cameron Dymond Australasia Commercial Property Leader

The precinct includes a slender glazed entry, a large underground open plan library with high levels of natural light from light wells in the ceiling, a subterranean garden, a six-storey glass tower with music and reading rooms, and a technology lab with views over the plaza and a public ampitheatre.

In a location set to house over 65,000 residents in the next 10 years, Green Square Library offers a place where residents can escape the hustle and bustle – bringing the whole family to explore the library, relax on the lawn among scattered trees, or to connect with and support local community at pop-up events and activities.

Read more about Arup’s involvement in creating an underground library in an inner-city marshland.

A woman reading in the sunken garden at the new Green Square Library A woman reading in the sunken garden at the new Green Square Library
The project’s design and construction team collaboratively turned the former marshland area into an underground library. © City of Sydney