University of Newcastle Ourimbah Campus Library


Hannel Street, Newcastle NSW

The Ourimbah Campus has been developed over a number of years with the Library strategically sited as the central building of the complex. This project involved defining a new entrance via the extension and modification of this important University building.

The primary philosophy of the Library extension was to identify it as an integral part of the Campus. Re configuration of the existing entrance can better engage the building with the adjacent Quadrangle, providing
a sense of arrival and with the inclusion of the new Information Common, provide a collaborative and creative “heart” for the Campus.

The existing Library and associated Quadrangle buildings are a combination of one and two storey concrete and block work structures. The introduction of a new layout of connecting pathways between these buildings to the new Library entrance facilitated the creation of more
usable grassed areas. Also widening existing pathways and introducing landscaping elements helped activate the edges of the quadrangle creating shared zones for circulation and recreation.

The extension introduced a double height, glazed space to the immediate entrance of the Library giving a sense  of scale and presence upon arrival while providing a vast amount of natural light to the new Information
Common areas. At the centre of this new space is a steel framed curved stair connecting the two storeys. Taking inspiration from the existing Library structures, the stair is geometrically planned using the oversized concrete columns that exist in and around the Quadrangle buildings.