Libraries and Community

Community & Co-design
by Graham

Corrimal District Library and Community Centre celebrated 21 years of providing services to the local community in June this year. To mark the milestone, a morning of celebrations was held recently, attended by Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery.

The complex was a first of its kind for Council and paved the way as a model for other similar facilities in the Illawarra. It was the first time Council sought to integrate a local library with a community centre. In some ways this seems obvious now, when the traditional role of libraries in all institutions is being disrupted by technology. However in 1997, prior to the prevalence of E-Books, Facebook and Twitter, this was revolutionary. The integrated model proved so successful it led to larger facilities being commissioned in the following years at Dapto and Thirroul.

Corrimal District Library and Community Centre Floor Plan.

The building forms an essential part of the Corrimal community hub, co-located within the Zeims Park sports precinct, adjacent a swimming pool, child-care facilities and shopping centre. The library and community centre was aligned, by design, with the adjacent Olympic swimming pool which reinforced the idea of a “sporting, community and cultural hub”. The pool also provided an outlook from community function rooms and the library space itself.

The combined library community centre was designed by Graham Bell Bowman Architects in the years prior to the merger with Edmiston Jones. Both firms have a long history of a strong commitment to projects that benefit the wider community. Edmiston Jones continues this tradition today, actively engaging with local organisations and Council. These collaborations have resulted in the rejuvenation of existing and design of new facilities necessary to provide essential services to the community, now and into the future.

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