FJMT Studio chose a combination of timber, metal and glass for the facade of the Surry Hills Library and Community Centre in Sydney. The materiality met the brief for accessibility, openness, transparency and sustainability at the building, which houses a library/resource centre, a community centre and a childcare centre.

Located on Crown Street in the inner city suburb of Surry Hills, the Surry Hills Library building combines beauty and functionality to establish a new Australian standard of excellence for environmentally sustainable design in civic facilities. The building incorporates many sustainable design innovations that are integrated into the architecture.

Prodema ProdEX natural wood panels were built into a solar-tracking timber louvre system on the eastern elevation of the building to filter and control sunlight and views throughout the day. The warm timber form was lifted above the ground to create transparency and accessibility as well as offer glimpses of occupation.

The project has been rapidly embraced by the community and well-received by the industry with accolades including the UDIA Excellence in Sustainable Design award and a high commendation at the Australian Timber Design Awards – Public Building category.

"The Centre has been designed to achieve excellence in sustainable design and set new high standards in environmental performance for multipurpose public buildings. [It] will be a starting point for the development of a green rating system for public buildings... [and] an innovative example of design and sustainable design possibilities," said Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.