FJMT designs new university library in Sydney
This international competition-winning proposal transforms the public domain of the heart of the
University through the integration of architecture, urban design and landscape architecture.
The project redefines the historic relationship of the campus and city to create a generous new public
domain with the study of law balanced at its edge.
An inventive aspect of the competition scheme was the division of the extensive building brief into
podium and superstructures to create an extended new public ground-plane of gardens, squares, and
Below this new civic domain are specialist teaching facilities, and library lit through the environmental
and emblematic ‘light-tower. Suspended above are a series of innovative multi-layered glass and
timber louvered superstructures that accommodate the remaining brief into fragments that define and
frame new public spaces.
Library, teaching and workplace typologies are developed into a series of identifiable and interrelated
forms with an emphasis on layered transparency, equity of access, openness, sustainability and
Emphasis is placed on informal teaching and collaboration spaces such as the ‘social-hub’ bridges that
form an urban window framing the new campus entry. Here teachers and students are suspended in a
transparent layer between city and campus, over new public spaces and a more open and equitable
Sustainability is infused throughout from siting and urban initiatives which reclaim public space from
car-parking, reconnect the campus to Victoria Park and harvest and reuse rainwater, through building
wide energy efficient infrastructures and services, passive thermal control, natural light and ventilation
systems and environmentally sustainable material selection.