A perfect blend of form and function

Over the past decade, academic libraries around the world have experienced a dramatic change. Developments in communication technologies, new teaching techniques as well as changes in how students learn and interact are transforming the traditional role of libraries. In response, libraries are adopting a broader educational role to create flexible, engaging, technology-rich learning spaces.

At Monash University the focus is on just that. With 16,000 students per day utilising two campus libraries, Monash University has engaged Hansen Yuncken to undertake a $40m overhaul of the existing interior spaces and expansion to transform the 1970’s library into a compelling and stimulating environment for the changing needs of today’s students.

Sitting centrally within the Caulfield Campus, the once simple four level building is slowly transforming into an impressive contemporary form with the addition of the Forecourt Shadehouse. This highly architectural steel, mesh and glazed canopy cantilevers across four floors, redefining the western entry to create a welcoming arrival.

Throughout the library, new built extensions reflect the buildings original aesthetics. Functional and acoustic zoning creates active and quiet study clusters. A student lounge, café, teaching spaces and breakout areas provides collaborative and thought-provoking spaces. Combined, the redevelopment doubles the capacity allowing all staff and students to fully embrace this new way of learning.

Remaining fully operational and accessible, project planning, communication, safety and risk management have been fundamental in ensuring the facilities are safe, secure and isolated from noise, dust and vibration. Insulated hoardings with dedicated access routes allow for worker and material movements with minimal impacts on library facilities.

Already enjoying use of newly refurbished spaces, staff and students await the much anticipated overall completion by the start of Semester 1 next year.

For those studying and working at the Monash University Clayton Campus, an exciting transformation is also taking place with a $19m refurbishment of the Sir Louis Matheson Library, also being undertaken by the Hansen Yuncken team.