We started working with Shepherd Construction in early 2009 on the design of the new Library. The project involved the refurbishment of the Picton Library along with some new building work.
Developers aimed to strike a fine balance between restoring the grade ll listed buildings and introducing new 21st century design. Numerous planning applications were needed and they were careful to retain the library’s historic façade on William Brown Street.
The companies, including architect Austin-Smith:Lord (ASL) and Cofely, had to demolish the 1950s sections to allow for the new towering five-storey building, which houses reading and information floors, public café, meeting rooms, atrium and roof terrace.
The major acoustic challenge was how to introduce absorption into the round domed library to stop it becoming a whispering gallery. By using the space above the bookshelves we were able to introduce absorption into the building that was not visible to the visitors. This also helped with the general absorption control that is needed for large atrium spaces.