Architects: QOH Architects
Team Members: Troy Zwart, Abigail Lewis, James Buskin, Allan Pearson, Tim Hulme
Location: Newcastle, Australia
The recently completed library at St Joseph’s Primary School, Charlestown resulted from the Australian Government’s Building the Education Revolution (BER) scheme, and was designed to provide a modern and contemporary library facility that would not only encourage learning but also to engage the imagination of the students.
The library sits comfortably within the existing school campus and forms the centrepiece of a cluster of classrooms. Its central location, at the intersection of two main pedestrian pathways, reinforces the importance of the library in the life of the school. QOH Architects designed the shape of the building to respond to the built and natural features of the site – following the contours of the land and nestling between significant trees. Visually stimulating colours have been selected that relate to the colours found in the flowers, tree bark and soil of the bushland setting.
Much consideration has been given to the environmental issues of aspect, cross ventilation and natural light penetration. Ample shading has been provided to the windows on the northern and western facades to minimise heat gain in summer. Large areas of north facing glazing look out to a newly created outdoor green space. The use of high level louvres in combination with a raked ceiling in the main library space allows hot air to be naturally vented from the building. Insulation of the walls, roof and floor reduce the need to heat and cool the building and improve the efficiency of the air-conditioning should it be retro-fitted to the building. Rainwater harvesting via an underfloor tank reduces current and ongoing water consumption at the school. Materials were selected for their environmental value as much as for their durability.
via: QOH Architects