The new library plaza is the public heart of the wider Green Square Precinct. It acts as an ‘urban living room’ for the surrounding residents, providing places for exploration, creativity and connection, with multiple programs for events, passive recreational spaces and social gathering opportunities.
The City of Sydney’s Green Square Library and Plaza project, redefines the traditional idea of a public library. The innovative design scheme, which won an international competition, locates the library underground, allowing for a significant new urban plaza to be realised at street level. It fuses built form and landscape to create flexible public amenities within a verdant open setting.
Hassell, as the projects landscape architects, developed the plaza design, using the competition scheme as a point of reference. The plaza’s new trees, multiple garden beds with native grasses, and central lawn area contribute over 420 sqm to Sydney’s urban green space.
A key feature is the ring of 40 trees planted around the edge of the site. This lofty species of Australian native trees, which grow to approximately 35 metres in height, will moderate the scale of adjacent buildings, provide shade within the plaza, and create seasonal character though changes in bark and foliage.
The careful selection of drought tolerant species, and implementation of passive irrigation via surface collection drains, also reduce the demand on potable irrigation.The library and plaza is the new public heart of the wider Green Square Precinct, and one of the first sites built within the precincts overall redevelopment. It acts as an ‘urban living room’ for the surrounding residents, providing places for exploration, creativity and connection; with multiple programs for events, passive recreational spaces and social gathering opportunities incorporated in the overall design.
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE: Hassell
CLIENT: City of Sydney / Stewart Hollenstein in association with Stewart Architecture
LOCATION: Sydney, Australia
SCALE: 8,500 sqm
IMAGERY: Simon Wood