Abbotsleigh Junior School Library | AJC Architects

Abbotsleigh Junior School Library | AJC Architects | Photographer: Ben Guthrie

2023 National Architecture Awards Program

Abbotsleigh Junior School Library | AJC Architects

Traditional Land Owners

New South Wales

Educational Architecture
Quasar Constructions (Commercial) Pty Ltd
Ben Guthrie
Project summary

Designed to delight and inspire young minds, the Abbotsleigh Junior Library & Innovation Centre in Sydney forms a new central hub of the campus, bringing together teaching and admin facilities with active indoor and outdoor learning spaces, around a glass egg-shaped building.

Creating the 1,140 sqm centre involved the partial retention and integration of the old library building and insertion of a new glass ovoid building that beautifully punctuates the more conventional campus buildings and affords staff a 360-degree view of library users.

Interiors of the tech-enabled library use organic circular forms drawn from nature with a maze of curved bookcases, an immersion for wide-screen viewing, glow-worm ‘caves’ for quiet reading and spiral-patterned ceilings referencing ripples in a pond.

Uniting the old and new buildings is an undulating canopy of glass-reinforced concrete that signals the library entrance and shelters an outdoor play area.

New South Wales Jury Presentation

Abbotsleigh collaborated with AJC throughout the design and construction process to realise a building that is inspiring in form and exceeds expectation in function. Located centrally and strikingly visible, the new Library and Innovation Centre makes a powerful statement of the importance of curiosity and learning. Technology enables everything from immersive experiences to conference presentations. Meeting spaces and cordial seating invite teacher collaboration. Areas are flexible to expand in size to seat from one in an inviting nook to 300 in the auditorium. The spaces are inspiring, child centric, adult enabling and full of function with a touch of whimsy.

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Abbotsleigh Junior School Library | AJC Architects | Photographer: Ben Guthrie

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