Jeremy and I took a quick wander through the recently opened Surry Hills Library on Crown Street by FJMT. Like many of FJMT’s buildings this is a highly detailed timber and glass number with what I am told is an extraordinary cost per square metre put towards achieving ‘benchmark’ energy credentials.
And while on first impressions I question whether the building makes the best library, in the sense that a library might be a point in space that celebrates the exchange of knowledge through repositories of information; books, computers, meeting tables, people (the decision to place the public access computer terminals - surely the heart of a contemporary library, and on the day we were there, the busiest space - in an impossibly skinny room in the deepest recess of the library is particularly odd)
One standout, is the signage by design consultancy Collider and architects Akin. The signage is integrated neatly into the architecture of the building; the entry signage in black lettering leans out from the surface of the black precast walls and internally, wayfinding signage twists within the framework set up by the terracotta wall tiles. This is some pretty brave signage for the City of Sydney to take on given the subtlety of the effect and the range of visitors