The architecture of the new Williamstown Library is inspired by the qualities and interaction of the natural and constructed landscape of historic Williamstown where the fluid, ever changing waters of the bay are juxtaposed against the rigidity and permanence of sea walls and buildings of the foreshore.
The building comprises two distinct elements. The first is a double height reading room featuring a translucent polycarbonate wall supported on slender composite steel and timber ‘ribs’ . This ethereal element is counter posed by a linear bluestone spine which anchors the building and protects the soft reading room from the noise and chaos of an adjacent retail car park. The bluestone spine houses the library’s exhibition area, ancillary spaces, meeting rooms and offices.
Sustainable design principles such as a large rainwater storage tank, sub-floor ventilation labyrinth, high level roof ventilators and automated windows are incorporated into the architecture to maximise natural ventilation, passive solar performance and minimise energy and water consumption. This new library and associated landscape design adds vibrancy and improves accessibility to this historical precinct by acting as an urban bridge between the town hall and the adjacent retail precinct via a series of large public decks, multiple access points, and a glazed link to the town hall.
Project: Williamstown Library
Design Firm: Mitsuori Architects
Project Type: Public
Location: Williamstown, Victoria, Australia
Floor Area: 1399 sqm
Budget: $8.1 million
Design & documentation period: 12 months
Construction period: 23 months
Client: Hobsons Bay City Council
Structural & Civil Engineer: Winward Structures
Services Consultant: WSP Lincolne Scott
ESD Consultant: WSP Built Ecology
Landscape Architect: Taylor Cullity Lethlean
Land Surveyor: Adshead & Mcquie Pty. Ltd
Building Surveyor: McKenzie Group
Cost Consultant: WT Partnership
Photographer: Mein Photo