The TL Robertson Library in Curtin University will be transformed into a more open, light-filled building by Australia-based Hames Sharley in partnership with Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects.
The TL Robertson library was built in 1972 in Perth, Western Australia is a landmark at the historical center of the Bentley campus. It acts as an important part of the Curtin student experience. The refurbishment will transform the facility into an informal learning and research hub, showcasing connection and collaboration in addition to collections and technology.
The library is an iconic brutalist structure that welcomes two million visits annually by students. Therefore significant infrastructure works are required to address end-of-life services and ensure reliable and sustainable operations moving forward. The required works present an opportunity to extend the scope of the project to also modernize the building’s facilities and respond to the contemporary needs of the Curtin community.
It was originally designed with little natural daylight in order to protect the books, but designers aim to create a “living library” by opening up new pathways for visual and physical connectivity.
The redesign focuses on preserving the building’s iconic brutalist architecture. Whilst creating additional internal space through the construction of a new services tower. As well as revitalizing internal spaces to facilitate an exemplar experience in informal learning, knowledge sharing and collaboration across disciplines. The design will also enhance the Library’s connection with Sir Charles Court Promenade and surrounding public realm areas. Also invites the landscape into the building, with the use of timber and other natural materials. Vertical lines and elongated windows provide views to tall trees in the adjacent park as well as adding new features to the library as:
- A large atrium in the center of the building with auditorium-style study stairs connecting Levels 2 and 3. The Atrium space will be suitable for use as a formal and informal event venue
- New facilitates including additional toilets and a 24/7 student kitchen
- Replacement of end-of-life services and relocation from Level 7 to a new external services tower
- New flexible teaching spaces
The works will occur in stages to ensure the library remains in operation. The staged process also means that students will be able to enjoy each of the project’s benefits.