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2016 National Architecture Awards: Public Commendation

City of Perth Library and Public Plaza by Kerry Hill Architects Public Architecture: National Commendation Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

The truncated, cylindrical form of the new City of Perth Library is bold and timeless, earning it a place among some of Perth’s finest heritage buildings, including the Old Perth Town Hall, Treasury Buildings and St George’s Cathedral. Its chiselled profile is generated by sun angles, in a simple yet thoughtful gesture to ensure that winter light penetrates the public lawn terrace of the adjacent cathedral. The angled truncation also calibrates the height of the library to appropriately address the scale of the heritage buildings on Hay Street. Internally, the success of the circular plan is due to the architects’ clever decision to push the principal circulation to its glazed perimeter, setting up a way to circumnavigate the program (and seated occupants) on each level. The promenade between floors also offers a shifting panoramic view of the immediate urban outlook and prospect of the Swan River landscape and distant hills to the east. At the core of the building is the triple-height reading room, characterized by warm timbers and filtered daylight. Externally the library is experienced literally in the round. Its cylindrical form reinforces the architectural reading of the building as a discrete object in the public plaza. This is an outstanding work of architecture and contributes significantly to the public realm.

Read the project review by Philip Vivian in Architecture Australia Sept/Oct 2016.


Kerry Hill Architects
Fremantle, WA, Australia
Project Team
Kerry Hill, Patrick Kosky, Simon Cundy, Dean Adams, Jacqueline Armstrong, Eva Baranyai, Rhys Bowring, Ryan Brown, Lee Kheng Teoh, Ken Lim, Martin Mulchrone, Michael Na, Helena Nikola, Levi Phillips, Kristian Van Schaik, Gaia Sebastiani, Anna Siefert, Tara Slade, Emily Sullivan, Cheng Ling Tan, Heloise Tremblay-Dube, Andre Yang
Acoustic engineer Marshall Day Acoustics
Artist Andrew Nicholls
Audiovisual CHW Consulting
Certifier John Massey Group
ESD/sustainability consultant Wood & Grieve Engineers
Electrical engineer Best Consultants
Facade engineer Aurecon
Fire engineer Complete Fire Design
Fire services Wood & Grieve Engineers
Hydraulics Lehr Paul and Partners
Landscape Tierra Design
Library consultant Arina Consulting
Lighting DJ Coalition, Best Consultants
Main contractor Doric Group
Mechanical engineer Wood & Grieve Engineers
Project manager Kooperman Project Management
Public art consultants Maggie Baxter
Quantity surveyor Davis Langdon, AECOM
Signage Block Branding
Structural and civil engineer Robert Bird Group
Site details
Location Perth,  WA,  Australia
Site type Urban
Category Commercial / public buildings
Type Libraries, Public / civic
Project Details
Status Built
Completion date 2015



Published online: 3 Nov 2016
Words: National Architecture Awards Jury 2016
Images: Nicholas Putrasia


Architecture Australia, November 2016

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