The front view of the proposed new Grafton Regional Library designed by Thomson Adsett Architects.
The front view of the proposed new Grafton Regional Library designed by Thomson Adsett Architects. Contributed

New library to float over floods

AN extremely modern building is set to take its place in Grafton's CBD following the release of the initial design plans for the new Grafton Library.

The architectural firm behind the designs, Thomson Adsett Architects, responded to the proposed Pound St site's particular flooding constraints, resulting in an elevated building that connects down to the ground floor with a curved feature staircase.

Other design features include full-height glass walls that open the library out  to the public car park and the street, while a solid wall protects the internal spaces from the harsh western sun.

Controlled openings to the north-east provide outlook and daylight for the library workers while protecting them from the elevated rail line.

The tenets of flexibility and adaptable use dictate the design of the library's internal spaces.

A large open floor plate maximises passive surveillance and interaction and creates a sense of openness and engagement.

This flexibility will help future proof this important civic asset.

While the materials have not yet been selected, Thomson Adsett has said special attention will be paid to ensure minimum maintenance for the building's lifetime.

Along with envelope shading, the building will also include a "night purging" system that will expel hot air at night, maximising the efficiency of the mechanical air-conditioning system.

The entire cost of the project is set to climb to about $8 million, which will be funded by the Federal Government's regional development initiative, and is expected to be completed in 2014.

The two-storey building will have a floor area of around 1600 square metres and house around 40,000 items.

It includes space for a local studies collection, genealogy, meeting rooms, a computer area and a children's activity area.



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