The next generation library has no physical boundary. Wireless technology and digitized information allows the collection to spread beyond the physical constraints of the building. A material collection will continue to exist, along with various pieces of equipment, housed securely and safely within the building, but many library activities can permeate into the public domain.
In our project the ‘Plaza is the Library’. Within it are a collection of outdoor meeting rooms, booths, lounges and reading carrels, along with information touch screens and charging stations that replicate the functional variety of spaces that exist inside the library. The grassy mound, the outdoor café, the seating edged by water, the shaded bench – these are all a part of the library. The periphery of the library is blurred and ultimately is defined by the reach of its dedicated wireless that provides a portal into the catalogue, the collection, and the changing activities and exhibitions.
The principal building address is toward the east, where it lifts up off the Plaza and broadens its frontage to create a covered outdoor space and civic presence. Two entries, one to the south and one to the north, provide a cross-site link within this zone. At the western end a wetland provides a buffer to Botany Road. The linear form of the building bends to make and shape public spaces along its length.