Reid Library refurbishment

Situated at the heart of UWA's Crawley campus, the Reid Library is an iconic building with a rich heritage. It is one of the busiest buildings on campus, and a bustling hub for students, offering various informal learning spaces.

Built in the 1960s, and with the exception of a significant refurbishment of the ground floor in 2016, the library has had minimal upgrades in its lifetime. The Reid Library refurbishment project aims to transform level one of the Library into a contemporary and technologically advanced space, benefiting all staff, students, researchers and visitors.

Our key objectives for the refurbishment project

  • Upgrade our facilities and create innovative, contemporary spaces that support student success. We want to provide an environment that caters to the needs of our students and enhances their learning experience.
  • Increase the availability of library spaces for student-centred activities that foster collaboration and support.
  • Create a space that is welcoming and inclusive to all. We will celebrate our heritage and recognise the traditional landowners, the Whadjuk Noongar people, to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and respected.
  • Improving building services infrastructure and improve sustainability. By upgrading our infrastructure, we can meet current standards and ensure a more environmentally friendly future.
  • Providing contemporary, student-centred, inclusive, and sustainable environment that supports learning, research, and collaboration.

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Project overview

Once completed, the level one refurbishment will accommodate a mixture of spaces and facilities, catering to different study preferences and requirements, including:

  • 450 dedicated spaces for small group (collaborative study) and individual quiet study.
  • Dedicated and bookable study rooms for 4-6 students.
  • A student wellbeing lounge, with a dedicated space for The Living Room.
  • A dedicated, highly visible and combined Academic Skills and Library student support service including consultation rooms for dedicated student help.
  • Two sensory rooms to support neurodiversity and a parents' room for students and staff with children.
  • A flexible and bookable meeting space that can accommodate 50 people, with capabilities for hybrid teaching and learning.
  • Both dedicated virtual desktop facilities and computer workstations.
  • A reading wall and adjacent reading lounge featuring important UWA collections.
  • A dedicated Viva Voce space for oral PhD examinations.
In partnership with the project team, Campus Management undertook extensive planning and engagement with University stakeholders, including the University Library and student representatives, to ensure the refurbishment delivers an innovative campus space with purpose-built facilities.
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Key considerations guiding the design

The theme 'connection beyond boundaries' has shaped the vision for the Reid Library refurbishment project on level one.

The University worked with Hassell, a leading design firm, and respected Noongar elder, Dr Richard Walley whose guidance and insights have been invaluable. The themes of pathways and connections that emerged from the discussions have informed our design approach.

Design highlights

Level one features various key 'moments' designed to resonate differently with people, echoing the campus's diverse spaces and experiences.

  • Wayfinding and orientation: The design incorporates clear views and natural light to aid intuitive wayfinding, enabling library users to discover diverse spaces for collaborative or individual study.
  • Cultural heritage emphasis: Connection to Derbal Yerrigan (Swan River) and Aboriginal heritage underpins the design, with water droplets symbolising collaboration and knowledge exchange.
  • Reed laneway: This primary circulation path acts as a wayfinding and orientation point, connecting different areas and maintaining clear views.
  • Reading wall: The Bilya Biddi quiet study area features a mirrored ceiling element, creating an illusion of a two-storey wall of books, providing a quiet space for individual study.
  • Academic connection: The reading wall signifies an academic connection to past generations and displays parts of the Reid Library's historical collection.

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    • Preliminary works: mid-November 2023
    • Full construction: January 2024
    • Project completion: last-quarter 2024

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