Surry Hills Library

Surry Hills, NSW

The Surry Hills Library was commissioned by the City of Sydney Council. It contains a library, community centre and child care centre. It has a basement, ground floor, first and second floor. The Surry Hills Library and Community Centre is unique in its design philosophy, combining beauty and functionalism without highlighting and exposing the environmental initiatives -they are intrinsic and multifunctional within the very fabric of the building. In this way the building is a reflection of the next level of maturity in environmentally responsible design.

The project includes significant rainwater harvesting, storage, treatment and re-use systems with air cooled plant and water-efficient environmental control systems to significantly reduce water use; potentially saving 680,000L of water per year.

The main structure is a prestressed concrete structure. The main frame is not exposed, except for the off form concrete columns. The building is clad externally, with mainly operable louvres and precast panels for the southern wall.

The major structural aspect of the project is the glass façade which acts as an air duct. The building has a unique spiral stair which adds architectural elegance to the internal design.


  • 2009 Urban Development Institute of Australia, Environmental Excellence Award
  • 2009 Timber Development Association Public or Commercial Buildings Category – Highly Commended
  • 2010 BPN Award in Public Building & Urban Design
  • 2010 AIA – Public and Sustainable Architecture
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