No. 498 . 17 November 2010 
ArchitectureWeek
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Australia Architecture Awards 2010

by ArchitectureWeek

In an inner-city suburb of Sydney, Australia, a compact new public building combines the functions of library, neighborhood center, and daycare facility with striking style, while including a wide range of green features, from mixed-mode ventilation to an automated system of wood louvers that track the movement of the sun.

Designed by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (fjmt), the 2,120-square-meter (22,800-square-foot) Surry Hills Library and Community Centre garnered recognition from the Australian Institute of Architects in its 2010 national architecture awards. The awards honor projects ranging from homes in Tasmania to green offices in Melbourne and high-rise apartments in Bangkok, Thailand.

At the Surry Hills Library and Community Centre, the library occupies the ground floor and lower level. The second floor contains the community center, comprising a large event space, meeting rooms, a teaching kitchen, and offices, and the third floor houses a child-care center, with a sheltered outdoor play area.

A multilayer glazed facade, with its series of tapering, prismatic glass forms, defines an atrium on the south side of the building, maintaining a visual connection between inside and out. The atrium is also part of the building's air filtration and distribution system.

Air is drawn in at the top of the atrium and passes over a series of filters, including plants. The air then flows under the building, where it is cooled in a "thermal labyrinth" — a series of high-thermal-mass rock baskets. From there, the filtered and cooled air flows throughout the building.   >>>

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