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Katoomba Library

Client: Blue Mountains City Council
Address: 1 Civic Place, Katoomba NSW 2780
Size: 890 sqm
Our Scope: Interior Design and Construction Documentation
Status: Construction to be completed June 2012


  • Engaged as head consultant in 2008, Incorporating all engineering services and cost management responsibilities.
  • Comprehensive design brief, with extensive consultation with the Council and the Staff team as well as a series of public and neighbourhood consultation meetings and workshops.
  • Development Concept and presented to council.
  • Collection Analysis, feasibility and projections, space allocation analysis.
  • Design and Documentation of the Interior architecture.
  • Consultation during tendering process.
  • Liaising with large team of consultants representing BMCC


The Blue Mountain City Council have joined forces with Coles in building a Cultural centre, a Library, an Art gallery and an Aboriginal Interpretative Centre – above a commercial centre developed by Coles. There library has been assigned a “warm shell” and CKDI have been engaged as the lead consultant to develop the design brief, schematic design and document of the new library, essentially the same process used in West Ryde library.

The project is also within Master plan of Katoomba Town Centre development. In this project we are working with Hassell Architects and Scott Carver Architects who are designing the cultural precinct and retail centre respectively. We are also liaising with various consultants and project managers from Coles and Blue Mountains City Council.

As with West Ryde library, the design developed simultaneously – internally by CKDI and our team of consultants and externally by Hassell Architects and their team.

During the schematic design stage we already highlighted areas for change within the base building to tailor it for improved library use – for example enhancing connections between library and main cultural centre areas, identifying areas for slab set downs and changes to the location and operation of the lift.

Some of the key objectives were:

Design Concept – “To reflect the diverse and rich local identity and to create a safe and inclusive space that people love”.

  • Innovative, Vibrant, Dynamic, changing, Increase curiosity Encourages people to explore – Knowledge, intellectual stimulation
  • Connections/ relationship
  • Increase link B/N aboriginal community, library, art gallery
  • Multitude and strength of connection – measure of quality and happiness
  • Creative, visual appeal, artwork links to gallery
  • Inclusive, representative, prominent, promote use of library service and personal development – aboriginal community and non-library users
  • Bring some outside heritage area inside
  • Warm, welcoming, appealing, Modern, contemporary
  • Flexible
  • To maximise natural lighting to the library.
  • Partnerships
  • Reflect the Blue Mountains, bring the outside inside, Local identity – upper mountains, not just Katoomba
  • Child/people friendly
  • Zoned for purpose with harmony in distribution – integrated
  • Nooks
  • Personal space/territory, Encouraged to dwell/stay
  • Sightlines – no high shelves, open plan
  • Easy to find, intuitive to navigate
  • Cultural heritage acknowledgement
  • Environmental heritage acknowledgement