Five Dock Library
Five Dock, Sydney, Australia
Public libraries have undergone an operational shift that have seen them turned into centres facilitating many of the functions that would otherwise be undertaken by local councils and other community based organisations.
With the evolution of ‘the library’ into a more complex and multifunctional space arises the opportunity and challenge to engage the wide range of users who’s needs and expectations are also shifting.
A system of environmental graphics serve not only as wayfinding devices but also communicate the library’s visual identity. The system uses a combination of dynamic and controlled elements, designed and placed to identify and direct, but also punctuate and complement the architectural statement.
Identification of the library’s various sections, open spaces and rooms was achieved through the use of large fabricated numerals juxtaposed amongst various architectural elements. Colours maintain a visual hierarchy, with colour and form blending into the architectural fabric for a more subtle, less invasive effect. Wayfinding elements are sited so they can be readily identified from all site lines, allowing Library staff to point to them acting as visual holding points to paths of travel. The directory is placed at the first and most prominent decision point within the space.
Further to this, a graphically integrated system of interchangeable identification flags and Dewey system numerals were also designed as modular components to the shelving. These provide maximum versatility for the libraries growing and changing collection as all the numeral elements can shift, slide and lock into various positions and locations as required.
The result, a well articulated, highly functional and efficient space, servicing the needs of the operator ‘the librarian’ and the user ‘the public’.