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Green Square Library

This six-storey, futuristic library has everything from an open-air amphitheatre to a baby grand piano.
By Jasmine Crittenden
October 16, 2018
By Jasmine Crittenden
October 16, 2018

Welcome to the future of libraries, where it's about more than just books. Green Square Library has upped the ante and moved beyond the standard collection of pageturners. Within the swish new space, you'll find a high-tech lab, underground reading garden, amphitheatre, music room, cafe and meeting rooms.

The building, which is located in Zetland – around three kilometres south of Central Station – is hard to miss, thanks to its six-storey glass tower, which emerges from a tree-dotted plaza. Behind the partially-subterranean architecture is Alexandria-based studio Stewart Hollenstein, whose design topped a 167-strong international competition held back in 2013.

While books — and underground gardens in which to read said books — are still the central focus of the library, it also features many spaces dedicated to music. The sprawling music room has a baby grand piano, which can be hired out by Beethoven hopefuls stuck in tiny Sydney apartments, and the open air amphitheatre plays host to public gigs.

As well as being an eye-catching piece of art itself, the library also contains two stunning installations. High Water, a series of massive LED screens that interpret local weather patterns in abstract colours, by Indigo Hanlee and Michael Thomas Hill dons the plaza, and Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro's Cloud Nation – a vintage aircraft with wings containing the miniature world of Laputa, from Jonathan Swift's novel Gulliver's Travels – hangs inside the library. Spending the day surrounded by art, with a book in hand, sounds like perfection to us.

Green Square Library is now open at 355 Botany Road, Zetland. It's open 10am–7pm, Monday to Wednesday; 10am–6pm, Thursday and Friday; and 10am–4pm, Saturday.

Images: Katherine Griffiths.

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