Parramatta Library earns top honours in national design awards

Awards are being handed out for the design

Parramatta Library, housed in the City’s iconic civic, cultural and community hub PHIVE has been named the winner of The Australian Library and Information Association’s (ALIA) Library Design Award.

The award recognises the extraordinary interior and exterior design of Australia’s best contemporary libraries and celebrates the investment organisations make to delivering extraordinary facilities for their communities.

Parramatta Library’s intricate balance between functionality and aesthetics and ability to create inspiring and engaging environments was enough for the building to be named the winner of the Large Public Library category.

City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Pierre Esber said the Library is fast-establishing itself as part of the City’s identity and one of the community’s best used facilities.

“This is a proud moment for PHIVE and library staff,” Cr Esber said.

“PHIVE is our community’s urban living room and has seen more than 800,000 people walk through the doors since the opening in September 2022 to either borrow a book, study or take part in our health and wellness, creative arts and school holiday programs.

“Great library design strikes the perfect balance for both something that is beautiful to be in and is also highly functional, and I want to thank ALIA for this prestigious award and recognition.”

Parramatta Library at PHIVE was chosen from a list of large libraries nominated in the category from across Australia as this year’s winner, with the ALIA Design Awards focused on design, strategic relevance and impact.

It is PHIVE’s fifth award since opening its doors in 2022. It was previously recognised among the world’s best libraries as a finalist in the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ (IFLA) Public Library of the Year award for 2023.

“The unique design of the building ensures it’s a standout when visiting the heart of Parramatta,” Cr Esber said.

“If you haven’t been into PHIVE, I strongly encourage you to venture inside and explore what PHIVE has to offer.”

Spread across six levels, the $136 million centre boasts a library, maker spaces, tech labs and sound studios for learning, innovating and creating. It also houses community meeting rooms, visitor services and Council’s Civic Centre.

The building was designed by a team led by award-winning French architect Manuelle Gautrand in partnership with Ms Gautrand’s French firm and Australian architecture firms Lacoste+Stevenson and Design Inc, represented by Richard Does and Thierry Lacoste.

Constructed by Australian group Built, the building seamlessly connects with the original heritage-listed Parramatta Town Hall. As part of its state-of-the art ‘smart’ design, the building includes a ventilation system that responds to weather conditions.

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