We believe that architecture is indivisible from issues of sustainability and social responsibility. We wanted the library to convey a sense of town pride and encourage social interaction. The library was conceived as a Junee building from its’ choice of materials, builders, suppliers, to the arrangement of spaces. We wanted to avoid the tyranny of the new, for it to be instantly familiar. It’s resolution is gleaned from 1880’s railway buildings that make up the town. We wanted it to fit in, to be elegant and quiet but, to be a contemporary building.
There has been a holistic, triple bottom line treatment of issues of sustainability. Embodied energy has been minimised, forms influenced by the desire for natural ventilation, light, heating and cooling. The climate control integrates passive elements, thermal mass, heat stack ventilation, rainwater collection and heavy insulation with a mechanical system that integrates night-sky cooling, chilled slabs, displacement ventilation and solar power.
The existing oregan roof trusses were uncovered and cleaned, two fire damaged trusses were replaced. The ceiling and walls were carefully lined with B-grade hoop pine ply. Acoustic ply was used to ameliorate the reverberation from the polished concrete slab. The lining detail chosen allowed for the fact that over time the trusses and masonry walls of the building had shifted out of square. The warm honey tones of the hoop pine complement the oregan trusses. Recycled Victorian Ash was used to make the new windows in the library and ply was used for the reveals. The new joinery, shelves, reception desk and tables are made from ply and edged in victorian ash, horizontal surfaces have been lined with linoleum. The level of workmanship and finish on all of the exposed timber in this building is extremely high and offers a crafted, peaceful and contemplative environment suitable for a library.
For a very tight budget this building has fulfilled it’s social and pragmatic brief, while maintaining a high standard of building. Decisions to ‘do less’ have benefited the project in more than mere economic terms.