The Surry Hills Library and Community Centre

The jury was chaired by Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Christoffersen of BIG Group with over 300 entries received from around the world. The fjmt project was runner up to The European Investment Bank, Luxembourg designed by Ingenhoven Architects. The Surry Hills Library and Community Centre incorporates numerous sustainable design innovations and integrates these into an expressive contemporary architecture. The outcome is a remarkably healthy internal environment achieved through energy efficient and natural systems, high levels of oxygenation and air quality and zero carbon emissions. This project extends sustainable design practice to new levels of architectural integration and experimentation. An aspect of this is what can be called ‘bio-mimicry’, the simulation of biological processes in the design. The way the interiors breathe, adjust to invite natural light, and through the literal integration of plant life, not only as an integral element of the interior spatial aesthetic, but also as a central part of the environmental control and enhancement of these spaces; the ‘breathing’ and the natural day- lighting of spaces. These advanced and, to some extent experimental, environmental systems of natural material complements the ‘bio- mimicry’ which underpins the project. The Surry Hills Library and Community Centre was also recently awarded the 2009 Winner of Environmental Excellence by Urban Development Institute Australia NSW, 2009 Winner for Excellence in Construction Award – Public Buildings ($10-$25 million) by Master Builders Association NSW and 2009 Finalist for the International UN World Environment Day Award.


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