Bairnsdale Library

Year: 2011 - 2014 

The new Library building extends from the existing 1889 Mechanics Institute Hall building with a two storey structure which reflects the form and scale of the heritage building, but is opposite in materiality.

Receding the extension has retained the streetscape focus on the heritage facade and creates a community plaza space which provides opportunities for public gatherings, outdoor cinema and community events.

The cultural/social values imbued by use of the heritage Hall as a gathering place is retained by enabling the space to reform as a community hall and new facilities such as meeting rooms, cafe, public and private study places engage the public. 

Product and material selections were made to ensure value for money both in construction cost and ongoing operation and maintenance costs, for example; the joinery quality structure allowed secondary finishes to be significantly reduced which then in turn reduces costs and increases value; the performance glazing, timber framed, double glazed facade ensures that daylighting levels are increased whilst heat gain and loss is reduced. 

Passive hydrothermal air conditioning, developed by NOWarchitecture provides fresh air pre-cooled by thermal exchange to water stored in tanks below the plaza. Air flow is induced by hot, stale air rising to be expelled through thermal chimneys with clerestory windows.

Composite timber/concrete slab floors, pre-cast concrete walls and existing triple brick wall structures provide thermal mass.  

Replacement air is tempered by passive geothermal exchange via 58,000L underground rainwater tanks from air inlets below timber platforms in the plaza.  Low energy fans further induce air flow.

Secondary finishes are limited and cladding systems require minimum maintenance. Cladding systems include a ribbed profile colorbond providing self shading, copper, BIONICTILE┬« and existing brick.  

The BIONICTILE┬« destroy harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) produced by combustion of cars / industry, by converting them into harmless water soluble nitrogen compounds, also reducing the presence of HNO3 (cause of acid rain) by up to 70% . The surface is self-cleaning and decontamination process is constant.  Tiles were installed with a single stainless steel clip system to form a ventilated facade system for improved thermal performance.

Efficient LED internal lighting also illuminates the external plaza, as a vandal-proofing strategy.