With a strong reputation as one of Australia’s leading universities, UNSW’s popularity was putting strain on its library. Tasked with refurbishment, we opened up the space for greater collaboration, enabling bright minds to go further together.
To keep pace with the rest of its forward-thinking campus, and increase the capacity of students that can access its resources, we worked closely with key UNSW teams, including UNSW Library, Learning Environments and Law Faculty, along with the UNSW Curator. Together, we developed a range of innovative concepts, before deciding on the one that best bridged the gap between traditional library and multimedia study centre, while making the most of the limited space.
Looking out on the University’s historic main walkway, with over 800 places for students to plug in their laptops and get to work, the new two-story law library has five main zones, each designed to work differently. Social, group study and individual study spaces, are supported by consultation areas and a re-work of the Library Entry, showcasing an exhibition and events space as a focus for events programing.
Of course, a key challenge was bringing the plans to life with minimal disruption to staff, students and academics. We staged the construction in phases over two levels, ensuring there was always space open to students, saving the most disruptive works for times when the library was being used least.
Widely celebrated, the updated library now has renewed relevance as a prominent student hub, promoting collaboration alongside focused individual study. More than just the catalyst for so many exciting journeys of discovery, it has quickly become the social centre of the UNSW community.