Commendation for Urban Design at 2014 RAIA Victorian Architecture Awards
Williamstown Library named as one of the '1001 Libraries to See Before You Die' by the International Federation of Library Associations
The architecture of Williamstown Library is inspired by the juxtaposition of fluid water and boats against the rigidity and permanence of sea walls and buildings along the Williamstown foreshore.
This redevelopment project was undertaken in association with Sally Draper Architects and is an elegant, functional building, respectful of the existing historical town hall. As an urban ‘bridge’ between the town hall and adjacent retail precinct is re-activates this civic urban precinct and transforms it into a vibrant community centre.
A translucent polycarbonate wall supported on slender composite steel and timber ‘ribs’ curves around a double height main reading room, allowing natural light to permeate deep into the space. This ephemeral element is counter posed by a linear bluestone spine that anchors the building and protects the main reading room from the noise and chaos of an adjacent retail car park.
Environmentally sustainable design was central to this project and an integral part of the building. An energy efficient multi-stage hybrid ventilation system, incorporating a sub-floor labyrinth and active rooftop chimneys, was integrated seamlessly into the architecture to maximise natural ventilation and minimise energy consumption.