Warilla Library

The new Warilla Library sits behind the Warilla Beach dunes adjacent a significant indigenous archeological location by the lagoon. It is located on the perimeter of the township’s industrial precinct, 2 hours south of Sydney Shellharbour Council were keen to create a symbol for the renewal of the area which has strong economic and social challenges. The new Library takes the form of a traditional Aboriginal “talking-circle” arranged around a central courtyard, the metaphor resonates with the local indigenous population. The building ‘sits lightly’ on its sensitive site, minimising its energy use and its environmental impact, It has the informal aesthetic character of a timber beachside shack, sitting above the high water flood-line. It presents a robust shell to its semi industrial environment as a protection to the beautifully rich and open interior. The delicately detailed timber cladding is designed to “silver off” quickly to create stronger emotional links with the nearby beach. The unique timber clad facade encloses an open light filled ‘linear’ building wrapping around a central courtyard, allowing strong visual connections between all parts of the building. The independent roof structure is formed from elegant bow string trusses which span between perimeter steel columns that also support the ‘floating’ timber floor platform. Internally, the building appears transparent and open with expansive views out over the parkland to its north, whilst providing views inwards across the central focal courtyard to create a visual conversation with the internal spaces in the enclosing wings.

ClientShoalhaven Council


Project director:

Ian Brewster

Project associate:

Rus Manaf

Project associate:

Alisa Pigram