World-class library takes shape in Green Square

World-class library takes shape in Green Square

Green Square residents can see their new state-of-the-art library and plaza taking shape, with construction of the City of Sydney’s highly anticipated $47 million project now well underway.

The City’s contractors, engineering and infrastructure firm John Holland, have completed installation of the steel and concrete frames that will support the library’s spectacular 16-metre glass entry pyramid and seven-storey glass tower.

The tower will contain a music room complete with baby grand piano, reading rooms, community spaces and a technology suite, while the entry pyramid will lead to a sunlit underground library with an open-air garden, amphitheatre and café.

The development will also feature a modern outdoor civic plaza with lawn, a water play area for children, and space for community events, film screenings and markets.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the library and plaza would take pride of place in the heart of Green Square, an area soon to be home to more than 61,000 people.

“Green Square is one of the fastest growing precincts in Australia, and we’re doing everything we can to ensure it develops into a world-class urban neighbourhood with the services and facilities our residents and workers need,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The City has committed $540 million over the next 10 years to the Green Square town centre, including the spectacular new library and plaza that will sit at the heart of the development.

“The library and plaza will provide a welcoming space for local residents and workers to read, relax, practise music, watch films, hold events and spend time together.

“It’s exciting to see this important community facility taking shape, from the dramatic entry pyramid leading into the underground library, to the elegant tower that will provide a bird’s eye view of the plaza below.”

The plaza’s granite paving will feature 42 round skylights that provide natural light to the library below during the day, and transform into a colour-backlit feature at night.

Two permanent public artworks will be installed onsite. Cloud Nation by Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro will see a repurposed vintage aircraft suspended inside the library, with its surface transformed into a meticulously crafted miniature world.

High Water by Michael Thomas Hill and Indigo Hanlee from Lightwell will interpret local weather patterns and tidal information in abstract watercolours on high resolution LED screens in the plaza.

Through sustainable design and construction, the project will target a five-star design and as-built rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

More than 160 architects from around the world submitted designs for the library and plaza in a 2012 design competition.

The winning design, which has been described by award-winning Australian architect Glenn Murcutt as “brilliant”, was devised by Stewart Hollenstein in association with Stewart Architecture.

John Holland was appointed as the construction contractor in 2016, and work is expected to be complete in 2018.

John Holland’s project manager for the Green Square library and plaza, Mark Nethery, said: “We are very proud to be constructing this landmark project for the City of Sydney, and are excited to build such a unique building in the heart of Sydney.”

The library and plaza site sits within the 278-hectare Green Square development area, which includes the suburbs of Beaconsfield and Zetland, and parts of Rosebery, Alexandria and Waterloo.

The City is providing extensive infrastructure and streetscaping works throughout the area, as well as new community facilities that also include an aquatic centre, creative centre, childcare centre and more than 15 parks and open spaces.

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For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Media Team Leader Keeley Irvin.
Phone 0448 005 718 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, phone 8974 4165 or email