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A brutalist brick and concrete library is transformed with many careful interventions into a light filled, open structure at the heart of its university campus setting.

New openings on all sides of the building are designed specifically to respond to the immediate surrounding street, bridge and courtyard spaces. Internally a new full height atrium is cut through existing 19 metre span, post tensioned, concrete T beams. Natural light is drawn into the deep floor plates and acts as a navigating device.

  • Traditional Custodians The people of the Kulin Nation
  • Client Monash University
  • Location Monash University, Caulfield, Melbourne
  • Project Duration 2013 – 2017
  • Floor Levels 4
  • Site Area 10,210m2
  • Sustainability Monash Eco-Accord
  • Awards
  • Academic Library Design Award Winner, Australian Library and Information AssociaAcademic Library Design Award Winner, Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) 2019

Upon entry the visitor encounters a large insitu public art work by Rose Nolan, that says “GIVE OR TAKE” which immediately engages the student with text in an extraordinary manner. It is possible to survey the entire floor upon arrival including the service zone, student lounge, cafe, collaborative study seats, large and medium teaching spaces and staff breakout and meeting spaces. 

Within the refurbished open interiors, a series of solid timber portals are located to create subtle demarcations across the broad open floorplate. They densify around the new atrium space to create a continuous timber screen that defines its edge and filters light.

To the west a steel and mesh shade house structure allows great transparency behind into the student lounge space. Seating below encourages occupation under the repeated structural framework of the shade house above. This complex cantilevered truss system projects a new identity for the library toward the central village green of the campus.



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