Located in Perth, Australia, Edith Cowan University – New Library Building was designed by JCY Architects & Urban Designers. The ECU Library Building creates a new student and campus gateway hub and public domain for the campus, open and welcoming and providing a vibrant and diverse set of spaces for all users on a 24/7 basis (in some areas at this time). It recognises the many varied needs of its users and also embraces different ways of studying and learning, i.e. full time, part time, remote, group, individual, etc.
This is a new generation library, as much a place to meet, share a coffee and a snack, buy a book or quietly read. It provides an integrated courtyard and features a full range of the latest technology as well as providing access to printed material, a coffee shop and a book shop. It is fresh, full of natural light and a living building.
Built on a sloping site (4m gradient) on the west side of the campus, the building creates a new entry to the campus and brings together 4 major axes which cross in the centre of its foyer, located on level 2. The foyer level is the middle level of the library which has one level above and one below. The 4th level of the building is occupied by the directorate, IT services and an area for library expansion currently occupied by offices. The building is very carefully designed to exclude all direct sunlight whilst maximising the amount of natural light.
The coloured aluminium fins play a 100% practical role while also creating a sensual and ephemeral skin. Colours are derived from pixilation of the green/blue of the bush of the area. The three fin colours mix to create a myriad of combinations and at the end of a summer’s day the colours change to orange like the beautiful orange which ends all Australian days. Other interior and exterior colours are derived from the colours of native flowers of the region with the purple representing the Geraldton wax. A close interdisciplinary, architect, client and builder team relationship has created a wonderful, sustainable and high quality building that was procured in an amazing time of just over two years (in tie for the closing of the Churchlands Campus) and on budget even within a very volatile climate within the construction industry.
For the Client and its users the building represents exceptional quality and value for money both in its capital costs and its life cycle costings which were analysed throughout the design process. For the community, the library provides another facility for the people of Joondalup.