Yellamundie at Liverpool Civic Place

Yellamundie at Liverpool Civic Place

The public library has never been more important than it is today. It is the most inclusive and public of buildings. This was already the case in Liverpool where the existing library was highly valued but the facilities poor, evolving out of an existing carpark. Invisible from the street, challenged by its constrained structure.

After Liverpool’s previous building was destroyed by fire, Council identified the opportunity to use a new site to activate the southern end of its main street. The shopping mall to the north, a new Civic Square to its south. It was an opportunity to make a new 21C library, unique to the City of Liverpool and inspired by its natural landscape.

Perhaps the most distinctive and beautiful feature of the Liverpool is the gentle and generous curve of the Georges River. Before the arrival of the Europeans, it was known as Tuggerah. It has carried and sustained its communities and created a focal point for life-work, family and play for generations.

The new curvilinear library, Yellamundie, was inspired by the river’s flow. As its sustaining arc creates eddies both calm and dynamic, so too the layers and flow of the new library create diverse spaces for everyone. The rippling surfaces of the new building invite movement and flow outside and inside.

The curved form of Yellamundie is also intended to give a sense of gathering and embrace. Circular glazed surfaces draw in natural light, unite and wrap around the community. Each window offers glimpses into the activity within and is proportioned for an individual desk or chair framing a view of the city or landscaped horizon. Multilevel zoning supports the buzzing activity of a vibrant contemporary library while offering quiet study areas for a studious and aspirational demographic. Children and youth spaces are positioned at the very top, holding the young up high, where they are protected, valued and supported. Surveilling their domain, the children can perch against the windows in sinuous hammock-like lounges. The whimsical design references local flower forms and colours. At the other end of the library, customers are encouraged to take a book into the sunken courtyard or explore exhibitions.

The multi-level design also allows the interiors and landscape to celebrate the ecologies of Country – the riparian, lush landscapes around Georges River, the suede greys and browns and soft greens of the Cumberland Plane, and the bursts of colour from native flora and fauna.

This highly sustainable 6 Green Star building is tempered by its curved skin natural light, framing views, shading, insulating and reducing glare. Comprising five layers of glass, between which are two separate low-emissivity coatings that reflect infrared energy or heat, two Argon gas-filled continuous cavities to insulate the interior, and two separate layers of ceramic frit in distinctive horizontal patterns that give shade and reduce

Yellamundie is a tribute to the values and aspirations of this Liverpool’s community. We have sought to embody these values of inclusion, welcome, community, learning, equality and sustainability within the architecture.

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fjcstudio acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres  Strait Islander peoples, the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work.

We recognise their continuing connection to Country and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.

We extend this acknowledgement to Indigenous People globally, recognising their human rights and freedoms as articulated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.