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Green Case Study - Green Square Library

Published12 Jul 2021
Written ByRebecca Fox

Winner of the World’s Best Library award in 2019 and achieving an impressive 6 Green Star – Public Building as Built rating, the first library to do so, Green Square Library has set a new precedent when it comes to the fusing of sustainability, function and aesthetics.

Green Square, the City of Sydney’s fastest-growing neighbourhood, has received national recognition as one of Australia’s most sustainable communities. The prestigious Green Building Council of Australia certification program ‘Green Star’, has awarded the development 6 stars – the highest rating achievable. The rating recognises sustainable planning, design, and construction of large-scale development projects.

A striking and somewhat deceptive piece of design, only a fraction of the Green Square Library’s form can be seen from ground level. The project brief called for two distinct components — a public plaza and a library. The unique design response fuses these two elements together by placing the library largely underground and maximising the public open space at ground level

Designed by Studio Hollenstein Architecture, the commission was won through an anonymous global design competition with the scheme unanimously selected by the jury, which included Pritzker Prize winner Glenn Murcutt.

Hollenstein describes the library as Sydney’s “urban living room” located in the heart of Australia’s largest urban renewal area. But what makes this project so unique is its commitment to the community and to the environment.

Located alongside a train station, park and public pool that make up the broader Green Square town centre renewal site, the entire area is designed for use by each and every member of the community. For instance, the library offers free memberships for NSW residents as well as services that are aimed at users of all ages, abilities and ethnicities.

Environmentally speaking, the Green Square Library achieved the highest Green Star rating via the incorporation of design elements and the use of sustainable building products. The library features its own wastewater system and innovative measures to reduce the energy used for cooling.

Featuring our innovative Vogl Seamless Acoustic Plasterboard ceilings (which are LEED-certified), the library has in one stroke overcome any potential acoustic issues whilst remaining sustainably in check.

The Green Square Library has received extensive recognition for its commitment to community and environment and we can’t think of a project more deserving.

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