The University Of Western Australia - Beasley Library
In 1964, RJ Ferguson, in association with Professor Gordon Stephenson, was commissioned as architect for a building to provide accommodation for the Law School at The University of Western Australia. In 2017, Ferguson Architects were again engaged to revitalise this significant building to adapt it to the changing face of a modern day library and enhance the student experience.
The first stage comprised a part refurbishment, opening up a section of the ground floor to the courtyard and introducing a new theme of furnishings to engage students in a friendlier, more relaxed working environment. In a nod to its heritage, the furniture and fitout take inspiration from original architectural details of the library. The geometric pattern on the iron gates outside the library inspired the design of the rattan screen detailing on new study tables. These same patterns have been interpreted in the shapes of new furniture and lighting. New carpet tiles were purpose designed, in a colour palette compatible with the new refurbishment, based on the design of the original 60s broadloom carpet.
Planned future stages include the creation of a second entrance into the library from Oak Lawn, with social and collaborative furniture that can spill out to invite other university students to use the space as an alternative to the adjacent Guild and Student Central buildings.
The design recognises the essential requirement for collaborative learning spaces and the social nature of learning alongside more individual and introspective learning. A range of furniture types has been considered for the refurbishment, including large open tables, casual and relaxed seating, individual study desks, group study suites and even small ‘work pods’ for extended study. A Wellness Suite has also been earmarked for the library which will allow students to escape from the stresses of their studies in a relaxed, technology-free environment with dimmable lighting, comfortable furniture and light distractions.