Katoomba library takes out eco award for an inspiring interior

Judges recognised the library for its cultural addition to the area. Mayor Mark Greenhill is pictured with locals.
Judges recognised the library for its cultural addition to the area. Mayor Mark Greenhill is pictured with locals.

It's a warm and inviting space with colourful couches, an Aboriginal knowledge centre, free wi-fi, timber storage for the books, cosy ottomans, designated study spaces and, of course, that view to the Jamison Valley.

Spanning 900 square metres, the light-filled Katoomba Library is just over a year old and has taken out the top prize in a prestigious Australian interior design award for 2014, beating high quality entries from all over the country and around the world.

In its second year running, the Home Design Magazine Australian Living Green Interior Awards for 2014, awarded the "playful and inspiring interior" design by CK Design International as the overall winner, and also the winner in the education category.

Mayor Mark Greenhill said he was "immensely proud" of council's newest library - the first new library to be built in the Mountains in 30 years.

"It's an intelligent and impressive design for a modern public space," he said.

The judging panel, which included Shaynna Blaze from TV show The Block, said it was "wonderful that a public project was able to be created into a comfortable healthy space that feels like you are in your own living room. The coupling of green interior products and design in this public building enables an extended reach of education about sustainability."

The eco-awards were held last month in Sydney's Surry Hills. A spokeswoman said the awards celebrated projects "that aim to improve the ways that we, and future generations, live in healthy, sustainable environments and shine the light on industry professionals who integrate healthy, eco-friendly interior products into client projects."

CK Design used recycled materials with a mission to create a space to "reflect the diverse and rich local identity ... a safe and inclusive space that people love".

Library user Suzanne Janine of Wentworth Falls said it was an "amazing space" for locals and tourists. "It's a great community space and a lovely place to take guests to," she said.

Libraries manager, Vicki Edmunds, said since the doors opened in May 2013 "numbers through the door doubled immediately and have stayed there".

It was her idea to install the laptop bench at the back, with double the number of planned powerpoints, so workers could enjoy the inspiring view of Katoomba rooftops and the Jamison Valley.

The old library had 400 visitors daily, the new one gets 800 and she is proud of the fact that "60 per cent of the Katoomba area has a membership. The state average is 45 per cent," she said


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