Bairnsdale Library Administration Facilities

Year: 2011 - 2014

The new Library building more than doubles the area of the existing 1889 Mechanics Institute Hall building.  A new two storey structure joins at the Heritage building’s southern wall, deeply recessed from the eastern street frontage. While it reflects the form and scale of the heritage building, it is opposite in materiality, light and transparent as new and welcoming but respectful to the heavy, decorated brick Victorian heritage building.

By receding the extension the streetscape focus has been retained on the heritage facade and  a community plaza space has been created 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/ kitchen, public and private study places to 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 in turn reduced costs and increases value; the high performance glazing, timber framed, double glazed facade ensures good daylighting levels  while heat gain and loss is minimised. Composite timber/concrete slab floors, pre-cast concrete walls and retention of existing triple brick wall structures provide thermal mass.  

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

Secondary finishes are limited and cladding systems require minimum maintenance. Cladding systems include a ribbed profile colorbond steel providing self shading, copper, BIONICTILE® and existing brickwork.  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 through the glazed facade.