1. Click image to expand

    Picture: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

  2. Click image to expand

    Picture: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

  3. Click image to expand

    Picture: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

  4. Click image to expand

    Picture: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

  5. Click image to expand

    Picture: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects


Brutal and beautiful in Perth

Jez Abbott
Tuesday 12 Mar 2019

Brooding brutalist library to become light-filled focal point

A major redevelopment of a brutalist library will modernise the landmark building at the heart of a green campus.

Six-storey Curtin University Library in Perth, Western Australia will be transformed into a more open, light-filled building by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects.

For the past 47 years the TL Robertson Library has stood as an iconic brutalist structure that welcomes two million visits annually by students, faculty and the greater community.

The Danish architects together with Australia-based Hames Sharley is leading the redevelopment of the library that will modernise the building.

The 1972 library was originally designed with little natural daylight in order to protect the books, but designers aim to create a “living library” by opening up new pathways for visual and physical connectivity.

The new open, light-filled scheme will support knowledge sharing and connection, and ensure the library meets the needs of future users, said Morten Schmidt, founding partner of the practice.

“The redevelopment complements the building’s original features with bold, contemporary architectural interventions that focus on warm, natural materiality, and contrast the current structure with open lightness.”

Professor Deborah Terry, vice-chancellor at Curtin University, added that parks, green spaces, and tree-lined walkways characterised the scenic campus.

The architectural design invites the landscape in, with the use of timber and other natural materials. Vertical lines and elongated windows provide views to tall trees in the adjacent park.

A clean palette of lightweight materials supporting a bold architectural expression will add a light, crisp contrast to the existing concrete and brick structure.

Inside the library, a new atrium will create a strong connection between the second and third levels, both of which reach out to the landscape.

An event location and new flexible teaching spaces will flank a grand staircase with built-in seating. The 20,000m2 building is due to be completed in 2020.

 “The transformation will visually and physically connect the library to the heart of the campus and the new developments” said Schmidt.

The World Architecture News Awards showcase the best international design in both current and future projects. Entries for the 2019 Awards are now open - for further information please click here.

To see the full list of winners of the WAN Awards 2018, click here

Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

Contact The Team
  • Architectural CAD Technician

    Architectural CAD Technician Reference: KOIPS4E65YU Location: Ipswich Salary: Competitive based on experience A successful Architectural practice, ...
    • Penguin Recruitment Architecture
    • Ipswich, Suffolk
  • Planning Strategy and Policy Manager

    This post is responsible for leading the council’s planning strategy and policy team to maintain an up-to-date planning policy framework.
    • London Borough of Lambeth
    • Lambeth, London (Greater)
  • CIL Officer- Outside of IR35

    The post plays a significant role in ensuring the right infrastructure is secured and delivered in connection with new developments. The successful co
    • Park Avenue Recruitment
    • Surrey
  • Development Management Team Leader - East Anglia

    I am currently working with a Local Authority in East Anglia who are looking to bring on an Interim Development Management Team Leader for an initial
    • Park Avenue Recruitment
    • East Anglia
  • Planner/ Senior Planner

    The Excitement is Building...
    • Foreman Homes Ltd
    • South East England