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One of the largest urban regeneration projects in Australia.

Green Square Library and Plaza

The Green Square Library and Plaza set a new benchmark for integrated inner-city public buildings, with the project forming an integral part of the City of Sydney’s vision for the $13 billion Green Square urban renewal precinct.

Situated in the heart of the Green Square Town Centre, the innovative and award-winning design comprises a new public plaza of 8,100m2 with jewel-like geometric sculptures and buildings that emerge from the ground. The plaza sits atop a mostly underground library of 2,500m2, providing local residents, businesses and visitors a place to connect, learn, relax and play.

This innovative underground library is located in the plaza in the heart of the Green Square, next to the train station. The striking design includes a subterranean garden, an open-air amphitheatre and a six-storey glass tower. The main library level includes large open spaces, study desks, public use computers, dedicated children’s area and meeting rooms for hire. It has created much needed community infrastructure, while also enabling new green space – both key priorities for the City of Sydney as it seeks to support rapid growth and enhance liveability.  

The plaza features a glazed entry pavilion, along with a striking seven-storey glass tower housing community rooms, reading rooms, an acoustically designed music room and a technology suite. 

Acting as the main access to the library, the glazed pavilion has a café, and the project also includes an amphitheatre, a story-telling garden, water play zone, open spaces for events and festivals, as well as a number of unique, permanent artworks. 

The $62 million project has a 6 Star Green Star Rating for its innovative design elements including a green walled open-air amphitheatre and underground library spaces with ample natural light and fresh air via 40 circular skylights that are recessed in the plaza pavement. The tower features an ultra-clear, multi-layered glass façade with integrated, automatically controlled blinds to ensure high levels of optical, thermal and acoustic performance. Additional environmental initiatives include appropriate site remediation and use of recycled materials.

  • Customer
    City of Sydney
  • Location
    Sydney, New South Wales
  • Specialisation
    Sport, tourism & culture
  • Start
    August 2016
  • End
    May 2018
John holland
John holland
John holland
John holland
John holland
The library was voted “World’s Best Library” at The Architectural Review’s Awards in 2018.
The library features a glass-encases, central sunken garden rotunda as the defining feature, with the circular garden accessible from the library for outdoor reading, and incorporates a story tree and children’s reading circle.
The library and plaza are connected to Green Square Water, a private local sustainable water utility. The system captures, purifies and reuses stormwater passing through the Green Square precinct for non-potable uses including toilet flushing, irrigation and cooling towers.


John Holland pays respect to the Traditional Owners and Custodiams of the land on which we work and live, and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples today.