"BVN’s Concept was chosen because ... it was also the most popular with the public"
Cr Morris Hanna, Mayor, Marrickville

Marrickville Library

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Marrickville Council
Marrickville Library, Marrickville, New South Wales, Australia
September 2011 -

3,500m² GFA


A community library and multi-purpose facility centred around a new urban park, creating a gateway to Marrickville centre.

BVN’s conceptual design for Marrickville Library is the winning design of an invited competition commissioned by Marrickville Council. The design proposal creates an entirely new type of community facility that extends beyond the traditional perception of the public library.

Central to the design is the creation of a public space or garden, below surrounding road levels, which provides an oasis from the dust and noise of Marrickville and Livingstone Roads, enabling multiple community activities and public events – from Tai Chi to evening cinema.

The distinctive floating canopy roof originates from the pitched roof of the old hospital building. It folds out over the new library building and towards the garden, providing respite from rain and sun. Internally a stretched fabric ceiling helps to reflect natural light into the library beneath.

The old hospital building is refurbished internally and externally to provide library collection and offices spaces, along with outdoor reading areas along its newly reinstated verandahs. New library floors connect via light bridges to the old hospital building to provide open areas to meet, work, learn or socialise. A café and community facilities wing opens out to the lawn, providing activity and life to the northern and southern sides of the public garden area.

The library is a place to learn and the building itself teaches; incorporating technology that displays information about the building’s performance in relation to sustainability.


Marrickville Library, Marrickville, New South Wales, Australia


  • Creation of a New Civic Precinct with Multiple Community Spaces, an Auditorium and Park which Extends Beyond the Traditional Role of the Library
  • Design Incorporates and Restores the Old Hospital Building Site, with a New Roof that ‘Folds Out’ from the Heritage Roof
  • ‘Green Gateway’ to the Marrickville Civil Precinct Through a Public Garden that can also be Used for a Variety of Public Events and Activities
  • Inclusive Design Represents and Caters for the Diverse Marrickville Community
  • BVN were engaged in Extensive Community Consultation to develop the Accommodation Schedule which formed the brief for the Invited Design Competition in 2011, which BVN won.


Morris Goding Accessibility Consulting
Acoustics, Fire
Philip Chun
Taylor Thomson Whitting
Civil, Facade, Structural
Steensen Varming Pty Ltd
Electrical, ESD, Mechanical, Lift, Lighting
Godden Mackay Logan
Warren Smith & Partners Pty Limited
Aspect Studios
Landscape Architect
Parking and Traffic Consultants Pty Ltd
Parking and Traffic
JBA Planning
Marrickville Council