Following six years of development, hundreds of Sydney locals and visitors joined Lord Mayor Clover Moore on Saturday 27 October to celebrate the grand opening of the $61 million Green Square Library and Plaza.
At the event, Lord Mayor Clover Moore said that when she was elected as Lord Mayor in 2004, Green Square was virtually moribund and there were huge challenges – yet today development is moving rapidly with an average 50 apartments completed every week.
“Ever since we began work here, I have promised the community that the City would deliver the public facilities and infrastructure that a growing population needs to be part of a liveable, sustainable city,” she said, “today we’re delivering on that promise.”
“This stunning new library and plaza are part of our $540 million commitment to provide beautifully designed facilities for our community which also includes an aquatic centre, 40 parks and open space, a community and cultural precinct and new public art. $1.2 billion is being invested on infrastructure which includes the less glamorous but essential work on stormwater drains, new roads and footpaths, and a transport corridor for future light rail. This will all help meet the needs of the 61,000 people who will soon call Green Square home and the 22,000 people who will work here,” she said.
Over 160 architects from around the world entered a design competition for the library, and it was eventually won by a Sydney team (Felicity Stewart and Matthias Hollenstein), chosen for their ‘inspired and unconventional design’.
Built using complex engineering techniques on land that was once a swamp, Green Square Library is a 2,300 square metre open space with 40 skylights across the roof to provide natural light. At its centre is a subterranean garden that offers a quiet space to read in the fresh air, meaning the library can also be considered an amphitheatre.
“Their wonderful design completely reimagined a traditional library. As well as books there are spaces for reading, play, study and contemplation, and community spaces to hire – there is even a baby grand piano for rehearsals and recitals,” the Lord Mayor commented.
Lastly, the library and plaza have a 5-star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, as the development features a central wastewater system and a low energy displacement ventilation system within the library’s bookshelves.
More information on the Green Square Library and Plaza can be found here.