Designed by architects BVN, Marrickville Library has already won nine national architecture awards, three National Trust heritage awards and a NSW landscaping award.
Announcing the shortlist, the judges admired Marrickville’s beautiful adaptive re-use of the old Marrickville hospital. The floating canopy roof originates from the pitched roof of the existing building.
Since the announcement that the Australian library was a finalist for the international award, staff have been awed by the quality and size of the international competitors.
So what does Marrickville have that they don’t?
Heart, said Inner West council mayor Darcy Byrne. “It’s not just a library, it is the town square. It is the heart of Marrickville. It is such a lively place. There are so many young people coming in. It is not quiet or old or dead. It is lively and youthful.”
Last October, the 3600 square metre library had 53,000 visitors, including a record number of young people studying at university or the HSC. It’s become so popular that the council’s senior manager of libraries Caroline McLeod has had to place three orders for additional chairs.
Since it opened in late 2019, visitors numbers have more than doubled. Many come for the day. “It’s a joyous thing to see how many people are in the library,” said Ms McLeod.
Article first appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald