• 2023.11.14
  • Spiraling into reading.
The extraordinary new public library of Sydney is a true architectural masterpiece located in Darling Square. The building is shaped as a spiral and it was made using twenty kilometers of wooden slats “harvested” from sustainable sources and bunched up in a seamless spiral.
It is not a mere container of books, but a meeting point for all those who love reading or want to spend a few hours relaxing, alone or in a group.
It is a study place, a place for conventions, a work station and an event venue.

The library is located in Darling Square, as I mentioned, which is a new neighbourhood that connects Darling Harbor with Chinatown and Haymarket. The library is an integral part of the redevelopment of the area and is the work of the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.
The project aims to redevelop the entire surrounding area since the glass screens can be opened in the market on the ground floor to integrate with the community, and the spiral-shaped wooden facade wraps the building like a skin and extends to embrace the square in front.
The library is indeed part of a larger project named Exchange which is home to a covered market with a restaurant and bar on the roof, as well as creative labs with co-working spaces, where you can learn new skills or take the first steps to start a own business venture. The area dedicated to books has an area dedicated to very young readers and special sections as Asian books or books in foreign languages.
There is also a childcare centre in the structure so as to allow parents to work in the co-working space while their children are being watched.

I have read that the wooden slats spiraling around the building would symbolize a nest and the protection within but, what it is certain is that it shows a deep respect for the environment and the climate both for its delicate shape and for the use of recycled materials.
Furthermore, it is a fine building that reminds us of Japanese elegance.
The structure has a unique geometric shape created by the dynamic movement of the floors which create external terraces at each level.
Large covered terraces with views are available and the best one is certainly that from the restaurant level.

This certainly is Sydney’s first important library.
Also the State Library of New South Wales, also known as The Mitchell Library, is Australia's oldest and it is a place worth visiting.
Founded in 1869, it contains over 6 million items.
What I mostly like at Australian libraries is that you can sit and read a book without checking it out so you can easily read some pages before making your choices. You can do this at book shops too and I was surprised about that as in Italy it is forbidden to do so before purchasing them.
There are tons of activities organised at public libraries in the land Down Under; activities for adults, children and teens.
I have discovered book clubs of course but the choice is not limited to that.
Libraries are seen as cultural and exchange centres where learning and networking are key.
I have discovered knitting clubs, scrapbooking clubs (I didn’t know what it was but it’s a mostly Anglo-Saxon tradition of decorating photo albums by cutting and glueing colourful patches) and even cooking clubs gathering at local libraries.
This is due to the fact that libraries are very peaceful places, WiFi is always free of charge and the free available material is endless (and there is often a section on DIY and crafts).


  • Alberto Ferrando
  • Jobcivil engineer

Hello everyone! I’m originally from Italy and I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2012 after getting a job as a civil engineer. I love walking my dog along the beach, surfing and taking photos. I used to have a travel blog because I’m passionate about traveling and I love writing about it too. Sydney is my home base now and I wish to share how amazing it is to live here. I love to spend time outdoors and I’m always well informed about local events because my girlfriend works in event management.

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