Projects we love: Green Square Library and Plaza

Green Square Library and Plaza opened in September 2018 to great acclaim. Designed by Stewart Hollenstein, in association with Stewart Architecture, and delivered for City of Sydney, the library and plaza are located at the Green Square, which is set to be the most densely populated urban area in Australia. Used by a broad demographic of residents, including students, workers, children, parents and grandparents, the library required versatile, hardwearing and stylish seating, for which KE-ZU supplied Lottus by ENEA.

Stewart Hollenstein won the commission for Green Square Library though an anonymous global design competition. The brief called for two distinct components – a public plaza and a library. Stewart Hollenstein offered a unique design response by locating the library underground to maximise the outdoor space of the plaza for public events.

Despite being largely subterranean, the library is identifiable through two buildings that punch up through the plaza: a glazed prism housing a café and information desk, and a rectangular tower that stacks computer, reading, meeting and music rooms. The library is also identifiable and visible through an amphitheatre and garden that puncture the plaza. The amphitheatre steps double as seating for movies, book readings and community theatre, while the sunken garden provides easily accessible outdoor space for those in the library.

The library is a fluid, free-flowing space that circulates around a lush, central garden with bench seats and a children’s reading circle. A timber bookshelf wraps around the perimeter of the library, offering an almost domestic feel, and providing space internally for seating and tables. Fun and colourful geometric-shaped alcoves are inserted amongst the shelves, and lounge-like areas with modular furniture and moveable armchairs can be reconfigured to adapt for various uses over time.

Green Square Library had 500 new memberships within its first week and is proving popular with students who use the computers or bring in their own laptops, and pull up a Lottus chair or stool to a table or desk. Stewart Hollenstein selected Lottus for its clean lines and simple geometry to complement the architecture of the building. The collection also provided a versatile range of seating options, being available as a chair or stool, with and without arms and a sled or four-legged base. Lottus has a comfortable seat pad to cater for a diversity of users and long days in the library, and can be stacked if needed.

The Lottus chairs are also used in the meeting rooms where their crisp white forms pop against the colour-saturated backdrops, and in the café upstairs, where chairs and stools provide a lightweight, moveable option.

Green Square Library is also proving popular with parents and grandparents who bring in young children to read, play and explore. The children’s area is defined by a bright blue circle with yellow seating and the library staff offer lots games and activities for all to join in.

Like many new and contemporary libraries, Green Square Library does more than house a book collection. It’s a place to read, to work, to play and explore, and often, just somewhere comfortable to be.

For more information about Enea and its Lottus collection, drop by the KE-ZU showroom at Alexandria or view the products online here.

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