Five Dock Library

The Five Dock Library is situated well above and away from the busy shopping precinct of Five Dock in a residential block.  To be successful in attracting users its location it demanded a strong and memorable design. In order to attract customers to what was planned as a state of the art library facility, the design team devised a theme for the Library that attempted to create the feeling of an Avant Garde cosmopolitan café/bookshop to compliment the busy street life of Five Dock. The developer of the retail complex provided Canada Bay City Council with a building shell and a limited budget towards the construction of a library and community centre fitout. Careful management of the limited construction budget saw costs re-allocated from expensive suspended ceilings and floor finishes to dramatic, brightly coloured sculptured walls and humorous quirky environmental graphics. The design of the library is unique and innovative. The library in particular establishes a benchmark for the design of similar facilities around the country. The position of the library posed a number of design challenges: it is located above the retail centre with relatively obscure pedestrian access and public exposure, it is removed from the intense retail focus of the complex and it has deep plan form making access to natural light difficult. The design of the library is based on a unique “retail” model.  The layout, has adopted the approach of separate “living rooms” around a central stack area.  It is designed to compete directly with retail bookshops in the area, in layout, appearance and operation.

ClientCanada Bay Council


Project director:

Ian Brewster

Project director:

Andrew Hjorth