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Australia’s best library designs celebrated

The Australian Library and Information Association has revealed the winners of its Library Design Awards at the Asia Pacific Architecture Forum in Brisbane.

The awards, organized by the Australian Library and Information Association in partnership with the Australian Public Library Alliance and the Council of Australian University Librarians, were created in 2017 to showcase contemporary library buildings.

Sue McKerracher, ALIA CEO, said, “The 2019 ALIA Library Design Awards show, once again, that modern library buildings in Australia are world class. We are fortunate in this country to have forward-thinking library leaders, imaginative architects, and councils, universities and school management bodies committed to innovative design.

“This results in irresistible buildings that tempt people inside to discover the wonders of library collections, creative spaces, and the programs and services that help make a positive difference to people’s lives and study.”

The awards are divided into three categories, with a fourth award chosen by ALIA members.

Among the winners was the City Library in Shellharbour, by Designinc, Lacoste and Stevenson and Turf Design Studio, which the jury praised for its “long, elegant and sophisticated facade with a design that adheres to a thoroughly confident and well-researched library strategy.”

Bunjil Place in Melbourne by FJMT was the winner of the Member’s Choice award. The jury called the library “a visually striking design with a dynamic interplay of different building materials. Superb timber grid shells and ribbons intersect powerfully with glass resulting in a stunning building, constituting a community centrepiece and a vital asset.”

The Caulfield Library at Monash University by John Wardle Architects and TCL Studio won the Academic Library Design Award, for the way the architects “visually and physically connected” the library to the broader campus, “through its glass entrance and western facade with new accessible ground level access for library users. It is a light, safe and secure focal point for campus users, day and night.”

Rounding out the winners is the Anglican Church Grammar School Centenary Library by BSPN Architecture, which the jury described as “impressive and an excellent fit with its environment. There is good use of natural light and an appropriate distribution of spaces for different activities.”

2019 ALIA Library Design Awards winners:

School Library

Anglican Church Grammar School Centenary Library – Brand and Slater Architects (now BSPN Architecture)

Public Library

Shellharbour City Library – Designinc, Lacoste and Stevenson and Turf Design Studio

Academic Library

Caulfield Library Monash – John Wardle Architects and TCL Studio

ALIA Member’s Choice Winners

Bunjil Place Library – FJMT

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