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Stewart Hollenstein & Colin Stewart Architects Win Sydney’s Green Square Library Competition
Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013 |

The City of Sydney has just announced the winning team in the international competition to design a new library and plaza for Green Square, one of the city's major new developments. The jury, including famed architects John Denton, George Hargreaves, and Pritzker Prize winner Glenn Murcutt, selected the entry by Stewart Hollenstein in association with Colin Stewart Architects from a field of 167 entrants from 29 countries.

Comments from the competition jury on the winning design by Stewart Hollenstein with Colin Stewart Architects (Video courtesy of City of Sydney)

Rendering of the winning entry by Stewart Hollenstein with Colin Stewart Architects (Image courtesy of City of Sydney)

Click above image to view slideshow
Rendering of the winning entry by Stewart Hollenstein with Colin Stewart Architects (Image courtesy of City of Sydney)

At the upcoming City of Sydney Design Excellence Forum on March 4, Sydneysiders interested in design and architecture will be given a unique insight into what convinced the competition jury to unanimously choose the innovative below-ground design.

The competition winners Felicity Stewart and Matthias Hollenstein will reveal how they responded to the brief and pitched their design to the jury.

Members of the jury will reveal why they called the Stewart Hollenstein scheme “fantastic”, “dynamite” and “absolutely world class”.

Rendering of the winning entry by Stewart Hollenstein with Colin Stewart Architects (Image courtesy of City of Sydney)

Click above image to view slideshow
Rendering of the winning entry by Stewart Hollenstein with Colin Stewart Architects (Image courtesy of City of Sydney)

The jury said from the outset the winning design was, “by far the most interesting and stimulating” and predicted that when built it would become “a beacon and oasis for the whole Green Square community”.

Sydney's Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the city had a long history promoting design excellence and chose an international competition as the best way to find the most beautiful, functional and sustainably designed building.

Rendering of the winning entry by Stewart Hollenstein with Colin Stewart Architects (Image courtesy of City of Sydney)

Click above image to view slideshow
Rendering of the winning entry by Stewart Hollenstein with Colin Stewart Architects (Image courtesy of City of Sydney)

“The winning design shows what an inspired result our international competition has delivered. I am delighted that residents of Green Square and all across Sydney will be able to enjoy this exciting new library and plaza,” Moore said.

“The Surry Hills Library and Community Center, opened in 2010, has gone on to win numerous awards including a prize for the Best New Global Design at the International Awards in Chicago. I’m sure the new library at Green Square will continue this tradition of design excellence.”

Rendering of the winning entry by Stewart Hollenstein with Colin Stewart Architects (Image courtesy of City of Sydney)

Click above image to view slideshow
Rendering of the winning entry by Stewart Hollenstein with Colin Stewart Architects (Image courtesy of City of Sydney)

Before deciding on the winner, judges drew up a shortlist of five finalists who each prepared detailed designs for the second stage of the competition. These schemes and their designers will also be outlined at the Design Excellence Forum.

Graham Jahn AO, the City’s Director of City Planning, Development and Transport, will ask jury members Professor Glenn Murcutt AO and Brisbane City Council’s Manager Library Services, Sharan Harvey, to explain their take on the winning scheme.

Rendering of the winning entry by Stewart Hollenstein with Colin Stewart Architects (Image courtesy of City of Sydney)

Click above image to view slideshow
Rendering of the winning entry by Stewart Hollenstein with Colin Stewart Architects (Image courtesy of City of Sydney)

Jury member Sharan Harvey said library design is changing radically around the world and the winning Green Square entry swung the jury because of the way the library and plaza are integrated to increase the range of activities offered.

“It’s a fusion with the public space and will generate the potential for a whole lot of activities that otherwise would not be available,” she said.

Jury members will discuss how they assessed the proposals and how they expect the winning design to help create a sense of community in Green Square.

Plan of the winning entry by Stewart Hollenstein with Colin Stewart Architects (Image courtesy of City of Sydney)

Click above image to view slideshow
Plan of the winning entry by Stewart Hollenstein with Colin Stewart Architects (Image courtesy of City of Sydney)

Spread over 278 hectares, mainly in the suburbs of Zetland and Beaconsfield just three miles south of Central Sydney, Green Square has become home to 11,000 new residents since 2000 with another 30,000 people to move there as new homes, public space and offices are built in the next two decades.

The judges said the winner put up a “convincing argument for placing the Plaza over the library thereby providing both a building and a suitably scaled urban plaza for future developments around the site”.

Audience members will also have a chance to hear about the process and hear from the winning architects.



Comments:
Steve King
Sydney, Australia
Saturday, March 09, 2013
My compliments on an excellent review article. Unlike many such news, it is possible to come to grips with the ideas and substance of the winning scheme.

I find it interesting that one of the most powerful ideas in this scheme does not get mentioned or discussed directly, even by members of the jury.

All the 170+ entries were displayed on the City of Sydney web site in their summary form, at the time that the short list for Stage 2 was announced. This scheme was the only one I remember that made explicit reference to the idea of accommodating a broader urban design as an emergent, rather than fully master planned entity. Thereby it was the only entry I recall that did not put its urban design energy into creating a setting for a specimen building as an object.

In my view, that makes this little library competition winner a rare contribution, to what should be an important debate in architecture and urbanism today.

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