Sydney is the latest city to delve into the ever-expanding field of library design, with 168 architects from 30 nations around the world vying for the tender for the Green Square Library and Plaza.
The competition comes as part of the city’s $8 billion, 278-hectare Green Square Development, which will be built on the former site of the Royal South Sydney Hospital.
The number of entries is not surprising given the popularity of library interior design in both the private and public sectors. Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore called the number of architects demonstrating an interest in the project ‘a fantastic result.’
“We invited Australian and international architects to create an iconic architectural centre piece for Green Square and its community,” he says. “I am delighted that architects in countries ranging from the United Kingdom, France and Denmark to Croatia, Venezuela, Egypt and Mexico, as well as around Australia, have been inspired to sit down and dream of a building that will help shape the future for people of Sydney.”
The designs feature sharp colours, bold roof top and structural forms, all giving a concerted nod towards the competition brief, which called for a space was both appealing and well-considered.
“We asked for a beautiful, functional and sustainable design that would attract people to the Green Square Town Centre for a range of cultural activities,” says Moore.
In a reflection of Sydney’s true communal nature, the designs can now be seen in a public display. Community members will be able to make comments and suggestions on the designs with those suggestions handed over to the competition judges. The judges, who will range from various different industries and sectors, will then choose five finalists come October.
“The community now has the chance to have a say in what the Town Centre looks like before our expert jury begins the task of shortlisting five designs from the 168 entries,” says Moore.
The winning designers will have a chance to deliver on a large-scale multi-million dollar community space, with $25 million allocated for the library project from the City and a further $15 million for the plaza.
“I hope the winning entry will go on to achieve further recognition like an increasing number of the city’s buildings, such as the Surry Hills Library, a much-loved community centre which has won design, sustainability and architecture awards,” says Moore. “The City aspires to provide communities in each of its villages with exceptional services and programs and residents and visitors accessing Green Square’s future library and community centre can expect this kind of quality facility.”
Winners will be announced early next year.