Architecture and design

New library at Darling Square set to take flight

An inspiring design for a modern library to support ideas and creativity.

Darling Library The Exchange

Our brand new library in the heart of Darling Square is fast taking shape. Darling Square is one of Sydney’s newest neighbourhoods, transforming an area next to Haymarket and Darling Harbour. Set to open on Monday 28 October 2019, the library will be housed on 2 floors of The Exchange building, overlooking a public plaza.

The spiral-like building wrapped in timber ribbons is designed by Japanese Architects Kengo Kuma & Associates. Well known for his signature timber cladding, Kengo Kuma designed the stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and brings his vision to Australia for the first time.

More than 23 kilometres of sustainably sourced timber panels curve around the outside of the circular building. Creating a unique façade with a playful likeness to a birds nest, the handcrafted panels also filter natural light into the building.

Sydney Architects Bligh Voller Nield designed the modern interiors of the library to create welcoming and flexible spaces.

The Exchange
The Exchange

The Exchange, developed by Lendlease, also houses a market hall, rooftop bar, restaurant and childcare centre over its 6 floors.

Darling Square Library will be the new home for our Haymarket Library. About 4 times the size, the new library will feature a collection of over 30,000 items, a dedicated children’s area and plenty of space to read, work or study. Our Asian literature collection and daily newspapers in multiple languages will be available in the new library.

Meeting rooms will be available to book as well as plenty of individual workspaces and public computers. With free wifi throughout, the library will be an ideal destination to meet up with clients and colleagues or for individual research, work or study.

A space for ideas and creativity

The Ideas Lab, a 200sqm makerspace workshop and multipurpose room is housed in the library. Designed to support technology and creative startups, the lab provides access to resources and equipment including 3D printers, a soldering iron and a laser cutter. A program of workshops, seminars and events will provide opportunities to upskill, share knowledge and network.

The lab will also host hands-on workshops for kids, teens and adults, from coding, robotics and virtual reality to school holiday maker sessions. These workshops will give anyone interested the opportunity to create and learn using the equipment.

Darling Square

Next to Haymarket and Darling Harbour on the site of the former Sydney Entertainment Centre, the Darling Square development includes a mix of apartments, retail spaces and offices. With around 7,000 people living and working in the area, the library will be an important public space for the community to connect, explore and create.

Darling Square is only metres from the Paddy’s Markets light rail stop and a 10-minute walk from Central and Town Hall stations. The Goods Line, a walking and cycle path connecting Ultimo and Darling Harbour is a short distance away.

Darling Square Library will be part of the City of Sydney’s library network of 9 branches. Library membership is free if you live in NSW.

If you’re not already a member, join the City of Sydney Library now.

Published 18 October 2018, updated 12 September 2019