St Benedicts University Library Refurbishment

CK Design International

The St. Benedict’s Library has a new internal landscape is urban in nature, biophilic and industrial, with abundant natural light and central green alley connecting Grafton St and Grafton lane. Mimicking the surrounding streets, the plan is divided into zones to explore the contraction and expansion experienced in surrounding laneways and major roads like Broadway. The design of the entrance makes a direct connection to the University’s indigenous artwork collections from WA and Broome and symbols of gathering, campfire and community. The entrance embraces the visitor with a circular design, promoting connections, and in occasions, become an impromptu chapel, a central gathering place for prayer.
Before the transformation, this was a tired and introspective library disguising its true industrial heritage within an old factory in Chippendale. The building’s industrial features were concealed behind false ceilings installed in the original library fit out in 2005. With only 1 window at street level, and old roller doors blocked in, there was no connection to the street and surrounding urban landscapes.

Photography: Phillip Waters