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Curtin University
Properties, Facilities & Development


Library construction commencing semester 2

Feb 20, 2019

artist impression of exterior of updated library

The TL Robertson Library will be undergoing significant upgrades, with works commencing later this year.

The TL Robertson Library, built in 1972, now requires infrastructure upgrades to ensure reliable and sustainable operations moving forward. The required works present an opportunity to extend the scope of the project to also modernise the building’s facilities. As a result, over the last 12 months students and staff have been involved in design workshops with the project team and architects to contribute ideas, which will inform the final design.

The re-design focuses on preserving the building’s iconic brutalist architecture, whilst creating additional internal space through the construction of a new services tower and revitalising internal spaces to facilitate an exemplar experience in informal learning, knowledge sharing and collaboration across disciplines.

Local architect, Hames Sharley have partnered with international architecture firm, Schmidt Hammer Lassen to deliver the project’s design solution.

James Edwards, Director and Education Leader of Hames Sharley said, “Hames Sharley is delighted that we have been able to bring internationally recognised colleagues Schmidt Hammer Lassen to Perth to work with the university, and with our Curtin educated architects and interior designers.

“The local knowledge and sensitivity combined with a Danish perspective has produced a uniquely Curtin design.”

Morten Schmidt, Founding Partner of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects said, “We were driven by three core principles when designing TL Robertson Library: openness, access and well-being. The design complements the building’s original features with bold, contemporary architectural interventions that focus on warm, natural materiality, and contrast the original structure with open lightness.

“The transformation will visually and physically connect the library to the heart of the campus and the new developments, further underlining the importance of libraries in higher education.”

The refurbishments will include a new atrium in the centre of the building with auditorium-style study stairs connecting Levels 2 and 3, new amenities including additional toilets and a 24/7 student kitchen, and improved highly visible, universally accessible entrances. An additional 2000 sqm of additional floor space will be created by the project.

The works will begin in Semester 2 2019, and will occur in stages to ensure the library remains in operation through the refurbishment. The staged process also means students will be able to enjoy each of the project’s benefits as they are delivered throughout the approximately two year construction period.

To find out more and subscribe to the project newsletter, please visit our TL Robertson Library Refurbishment & Services Upgrade project page.