The proposal for the Green Square Library & Plaza in Syndey rethinks a common emphasis on new technologies and the transformation of a reading room in a library being an inside storage space of books to a public space that communicates with its boundaries. For this design, Gus Wüstemann Architects suggests a bridge from the virtual world to the authentic world, from nature to culture, society and technology. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Knowledge is the development from nature to culture. The content of cultures has always been collected and stored in libraries. Knowledge was traditionally written down into books, nowadays information is being transmitted through the air as virtual databases. So in rethinking this emphasis, sources of information are the origin and content of the new library such as: nature and culture + technology, tradition + modernity, imagination + precision, natural stones + concete, raw wood, water + glass.
As the public space in the new library is the new reading room, we use raw materials as a source of information. people can touch and experience the roots of their culture, raw stones, raw wood and vegetation. a sharp precise structure of concrete is the technological footprint of the library, which holds up the traditional layers of stone and embodies raw wooden blocks of roots and origin of nature and culture.
The Australian continent has a strong bond to its diversified nature and is moving along as strong in new and sustainable technologies. The history of both,the ancient indigenous Australians and its new population are the cornerstones of the Australian society today. This diversity of the authentic and new society are the base for building and plaza. The ground level, the city level represents the new green and sustainable Australia, the public roof park of the Green Square Library is the Dreamtime Park.
The plaza resolves the urban knot and connects the library with the urban context, both visual and functional. It is an overlay of two cultures, there is clear diversification of various areas. The borders of the park are the conceived as dreamtime areas, the natural park. The central part anchors itself into the urbanism of its surroundings, the urban park.On the far end of the park the library is located.
The ground floor of the library is a covered plaza, a public reading room. This public area is related to as the “real world”. The program of the library is elevated above and around this plaza, providing shelter for sun and rain.The building’s roof is the “dreamtime world”. This rooftop garden is only accessible during the opening hours of the library. It serves as a panoramic terrace with views to the city.
The urban park provides clean water and fresh green vegetation, shaped in relation to the surrounding urban infrastructure. Water basins provide a buffer for storm water. The library is not only a building shaped in a landscape to live up to functional needs of future generations. it is an intercultural bridge between the past and the future; between traditions and what is to come.