Sydney’s Green Square is one step closer to receiving its new $47 million ‘urban living rooms’, with Council giving the green light to the precinct’s Library and Plaza project earlier this month.

The winning design by Stewart Hollenstein, in association with Canberra based Stewart Architecture, fuses a range of buildings with the outdoor plaza to create multiple sites for reading, play, study and rest.

Hailed by Australian architect and Pritzker Prize recipient Glenn Murcutt as “brilliant”, the library is designed to sit beneath ground at a low level, allowing open spaces to flow up over the top to create a larger public area. This strategy essentially gives space back to the precinct and Sydney, while generating opportunities for street activation.

A glazed entry pavilion, a story-telling garden, and a green walled amphitheatre are some of the creative initiatives of the library, which includes a sunken garden that bathes its spaces in natural light.

The plaza itself is framed by a scattered ring of trees, and includes a lawn for reading and community events, a water play zone, and a mix of fixed and movable furniture.

Images courtesy of Stewart Hollenstein