The Raheen Library for Australian Catholic University (ACU) was initiated in response to a dramatic rise in student numbers at the St Patrick’s Melbourne campus. Part of the vision of the project was to create a space that would appeal to students, a library that not only fosters learning but also provides an environment that is inspirational and pleasurable to inhabit.
A third level has been added to the original two-story library building, also designed by Woods Bagot in 2002. This additional space, in combination with a reconfiguration of existing spaces, provides a wide spectrum of informal learning spaces to suit collaborative learning as well as new staff workspaces and a new law area.
To align with the spectrum of learning spaces, a diverse range of furniture was selected, providing a variety of both formal and informal, mobile and fixed furniture arrangements, injected with bright colours and ambient lighting features.
When approaching the aesthetics, Woods Bagot drew on the ultimate symbol of the library: books. The materiality of the space was inspired by paper, referencing textures such as folding, sewing, endpaper designs and bookbinding. Blonde timbers, crumpled paper lightshades and graphics that reference origami all complete the paper theme.