Remoulding an existing shell into a library of modern proportions, Kosloff Architecture has created a new library for La Trobe University in conjunction with the tertiary institution’s leadership group, which has seen the library pivot conceptually from merely a collection of texts to a place of connection.
Spanning three levels, the library features a new entry gallery, a series of consultation rooms and ASK La Trobe information pods, a postgraduate lounge, boardroom and display of the ‘Sandhurst’ book collection.
La Trobe desired a library that challenged the concepts of tradition. As opposed to simply being a quiet place of solitude and study, the library is very much an active communal space.
Kosloff were tasked with working within the confines of a highly challenging budget, with a hierarchy of investment put in place to ensure the functional aspects of the projects were delivered without detracting from the overall concept. The practice took to the challenge with an unbridled sense of enthusiasm, leaving many spaces within the interior deliberately undefined, to invoke a sense of optimism for the future.
The ceiling infrastructure and vermiculite-coated steel structure has been left untouched by the practice. The new spaces contrast against the existing structure and its parts, with clearly contemporary characteristics. The grand stairwell now features a number of cascading glass pods that house the Sandhurst book collection. Groupings of clear, mirrored and reeded glass combine to create a kaleidoscope of sorts, reflecting through each level and blurring the figures of occupants as they move through the space.
Kosloff has devised a contemporary library space for a university that has continually looked to modernise its facilities. The implementation of a number of consultation rooms and pods have given students the spaces they require for modern learning, while a textural palette featuring an abundance of glass, the practice believes the new library is quite literally a reflection itself.