Biological Sciences Library

University of Queensland, St Lucia

Wilson Architects were engaged to upgrade the UQ Biological Sciences Library to provide additional floor space and accommodate increased student numbers and changes in the nature of service delivered by the library.

We also needed to upgrade the building to comply with current building codes, including equitable disability access. 

The project explores the potential links between the building and the adjacent Queensland Biological Sciences Precinct.

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The existing building was essentially a brutal concrete box, and reflected the outdated attitude that libraries should be only 'keepers of knowledge'.

The refurbishment now engages with passersby and campus visitors through its use of glass, and an open façade.

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The Biological Sciences Library building is designed with various environmental principles in mind. Appropriate sun shading was carefully developed with the aid of computer modelling systems. High performance glazing was specified. The deep plan arrangement was adopted to maximise the temperature stability of the internal spaces, and the use of light sharing by use of extensive internal glazing ensures borrowed light penetrates through into the internal spaces. The newly introduced skylight above the central stair void provides natural light into the deep part of the plan.

This project received Australian Institute of Architects Brisbane regional award for Public Architecture in 2008.

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It is sensational — very light and airy, with lots of open spaces for group work and interaction. And the use of glass in the new extension, rather than concrete walls, is wonderful — makes it a very inviting and relaxed space rather than the dark and gloomy place it used to be. The new front entrance changes the precinct dramatically, and the walk-through to the Library-Mayne Centre court is very effective. The entrance to the Library, with the wide staircase as you come in, is also impressive. And the simple addition of some coloured images to the end of the stack rows has also had a dramatic effect on Levels 3 and 4.
— Professor Alan Rix Pro-Vice-Chancellor Ipswich
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STATS

Timeline
Complete 2006

Size
3959sqm

Project Value
$11,900,000

Key Personnel
Hamilton Wilson,
Michael Hartwich

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