Sydney will get a new public library designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma as part of the $3.4 billion redevelopment of Darling Harbour.
The City of Sydney has signed a deal with developer Lendlease to take two floors, covering 2,225 square metres, of the six storey building for a new library space to replace the existing Haymarket library, which is just a quarter of the size of the new site.
Kuma is designing the stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and this building, wrapped in spirals of timber, and giving it a beehive-like appearance, named The Darling Exchange, is his first project in Australia.
The building, which has yet to be approved, is designed as a community and retail centre, and will include a commercially-run childcare centre, as well as restaurants and bars, a fresh food market and an area for creative startups, according to Lord Mayor Clover Moore.
“The contemporary library will include a flexible space for seminars and workshops, with technology to support entrepreneurs and innovators,” she said.
If approved, the Darling Exchange is expected to open in 2018. It will stand next to a new public space designed by Aspect Studios, who produced the plant facades for One Central Park on the former Tooths brewery site. Two retail pavilions will frame the civic space.
The redeveloped Darling Harbour precinct is expected to become home to 4,200 residents, 2,500 workers and 2,500 students.