- Article by Online Editor
- Photography by Mathieu Faliu
- Architect Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp
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The new Surry Hills Library and Community Centre sets a new standard for sustainability measures in public buildings. The centre, integrating innovative environmental systems and sustainable design philosophies into a flexible state-of-the-art community hub incorporates a two-level library, community centre, meeting spaces, and childcare centre services into a welcoming, inviting and human scaled public landmark for Surry Hills.
Environmental initiatives include green roof water capture projected to harvest 680,000L per annum; recycled materials use; 36 panel photovoltaic solar array generating renewable energy for up to 6 hours a day; and integration of passive systems reducing the need for artificial cooling by some 50%.
The character and quality of the facility reflects the values of the local community and surrounding village streetscape. Sited in an important heritage terrace-precinct, the building is scaled in relation to neighbouring properties. The design establishes a contemporary sense of place with an open and inviting frontage. The building is set back with ground floor transparency, highly visible glass atrium, light filled two–storey foyer and suspended timber form. Through this transparency and connectedness the building illuminates and activates the street, expressing a sense of open and equitable access to the important community services being provided within.
*Click [“here”:http://stage.australiandesignreview.com/adrtv/12473-Surry-Hills-Library-Community-Centre-FJMT-Francis-Jones-Morehen-Thorp] to take a video walkthrough of the Surry Hills Library and Community Centre, as narrated by Richard Francis-Jones of FJMT.*
Drainage is often the forgotten workhorse of the building and design function. Yet drainage maintains a simple albeit vital purpose.