First opening its doors in December 1967, this Brisbane City Council (BCC) library is located in the leafy inner city suburb of Ashgrove. In September 2019, Premis was engaged by the BCC to upgrade Ashgrove Library’s interiors and exteriors with a view to modernising and maximising its full potential for visitors of all ages and interests.
There were a number of external improvements implemented to the library’s façade, which were designed to provide a modern yet inviting entryway. These included new windows, colourful walls and feature tiles, new signage and decorative concrete paths. Bike racks and additional seating were also installed and landscaping undertaken to enhance the library’s shady, relaxed exterior.
Internal structural alterations involved in the refurbishment included in-filling the existing slab to transform the ‘step-down’ library floor into one single level. The library’s floor plan was reconfigured to include more comfortable seating, a new reading lounge and a drinking fountain. New security and ICT systems were also installed, including the latest in RFID technology to enhance the borrowing and return processes. Efficiency was added to the back-of-house area with new amenities and a new kitchen fit out. The two meeting rooms were also refurbished to ensure improved sound attenuation.
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of the upgrade to the Ashgrove Library is the fresh new palette used throughout which reflects the flora and fauna of the Australian bush. Walls, feature tiles and shelving feature shades of greens, blues and yellows that add light, texture and warmth to its inspiring interiors. Beautiful bamboo lighting, colourful furniture, feature ceiling panels and new floor finishes (including carpet sourced from Italy) further enhance its aesthetics.
And then there’s the new children’s area, Hello Possums, which will surprise and delight. This amazing space has an activity hub, interactive wall games and play areas where children of all ages can explore, interact or simply curl up with their favourite book. All under the watchful eye of some Australia’s cheekiest native animals!
However, the refurbishment of the Ashgrove Library was not without its challenges. Many of the bespoke features, including the Italian carpeting, required the logistical expertise of a Brisbane build project specialist in order to be successfully implemented. The ongoing bushfires in NSW and QLD also proved to have unforeseen impacts on the project’s delivery.
But despite all of this, Premis worked closely with the BCC, informing them of delays and adapting the project’s operational timeline to ensure it was completed in time for the Ashgrove Library refurbishment official opening on the 14th of December, 2019!