Double Bay Library

The client
Woollahra Municipal Council is responsible for delivering quality infrastructure, facilities and community services to the residents of one of Sydney’s most beautiful and exclusive harbourside local government areas. Located within the Kiora Lands Redevelopment, the new Double Bay Library has been designed to be an innovative, state-of-the-art facility for the local community as well as Council’s flagship within the Double Bay Shopping Precinct.

The brief
Designed by BVN Donovan Hill Architects, the ‘garden within a library’ concept for the new Double Bay Library pays homage to the former St Brigid’s Library and Blackburn Gardens. Approximately 2,000sqm in size and spanning three levels, the clever design makes playful and inspiring use of gardens, forum steps and even a slippery slide to create a memorable community space for people of all ages. In 2015, Citizen was invited by BVN to design a wayfinding and placemaking strategy that would help visitors navigate the flexible floor plan that incorporated zones for different activities and programs. 

Our solution
Working in partnership with BVN, we identified opportunities for creative bespoke wall graphics as key components of the placemaking and wayfinding strategy. Leveraging the opportunity for community engagement and ownership, the centerpiece of our placemaking design was a man-made ‘garden’ wall of individual plywood blocks inscribed with the name of residents and the title of their favourite book. Complements the circular shapes in the building features, the pixel language used in the signage solution is symbolic of the convergence of print and digital in modern book publishing. Embracing the playfulness of the architectural style, other elements included a ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ installation in the children’s play area and mapping tables. Building on the colour scheme conceived by BVN ­– with level 1 representing grass, level 2 representing flowers and level three depicting the sky – we also added yellow highlights (representing the sun) to the wayfinding signage palette. 



The result
Working across internal and external wayfinding signage and placemaking components, the design married the textural elements of the architecture with the new brand palette recently created for all Woollahra Council libraries. The new library opened in May 2016.