Architects: Brewster Hjorth Architects
Location: Sunshine Coast, Queensland Australia
Area: 1650.0 sqm
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Mushenko & Jackson
From the architect. The Cooroy Library and Digital Information Hub was developed as part of Mill Place Master Plan for Cooroy, which created a new vibrant link between the existing Art gallery, housed in the Butter Factory Building, and the upgraded rural industry areas, vacated by the closing of the local Mill Place timber mill.
The new Library and Digital Hub creates a bridge between the Butter factory Art Gallery and the main city street, opening up to the recreational park created within the site of the old Mill Place timber Mill. The link has been achieved by digging the new library in into the existing slope, bridging level difference of 6 m between the Art Gallery and the recreational park.
The building includes a large new public library design for the Cooroy community and capturing the larger community living in the hinterlands surrounding Cooroy. The library incudes a technology rich hub, with digital training rooms, community rooms, community lounge, reading areas and café that can open onto a large covered verandah visually and physically connection it to the recreational park.
The library has been designed with a strong focus on the children, youth as well as the aging community. The interiors have created rich compositions of rooms and pods, providing spaces of different users. The graphics, signage and rich palette of materials provide an exiting and vibrant space for the community to gather, socialise and enrich themselves.
The building was designed a two curved opposed pavilions. The western pavilion is dug into the slope of the site, and is covered by an earth sheltered grass roof. The grassed roof provides the setting link to the art gallery, and extends the grounds and the park and the gallery. A prominent sculpture has been place at a pivotal junction between the library and the art gallery to unite the creative, cultural and recreation precinct created.
To the east, the library opens to a sunken internal courtyard, edged by a large stonewall, providing much needed cooling in the summer from the stone mass and shading.
To the north the eastern pavilion sours out of the ground, with a beacon lantern positioned at the junction between the two pavilions. The lantern beings in southern diffused daylight into the library, and provides high internal cathedral space where community lounge, café, and reading areas are located. The form of the lantern has been designed with prominent angled elements, continuing the sculptural form and connection to the site.
The design of the new Library and Digital Hub hugs the land and grows out of the site, taking advantage of the stable below ground temperatures to passively control the comfort of the internal spaces.
The climate control and internal comfort has been developed with mixed mode ventilation system. The library can operate as naturally ventilated space, with operable louvers for cross ventilation, assisted by thermal mass of the below ground walls and grassed roof. It can also operate with below floor displacement ventilation, which is assisted by precooling of the external air through two large underground labyrinth concrete pipes.
A large, deep verandah with sun shading screens protects the building on the north and west. The verandah creates a covered pedestrian link from the main street and adjoining commercial centre of Cooroy. The design of the verandah echoes the deep shopfront awnings overhanging the streets footpath, forming the character of Cooroy commercial and civic centre.
An array of solar panels has been designed with the building to provide site-generated power to assist in the reduction of power consumption, and carbon footprint.
The Library and Digital Hub has been very successful with Sunshine Coast Council and the Cooroy community, in demonstrating real reductions in energy consumption.