The Samford Valley Steiner School Library seeks to be an appropriate, site specific, bespoke rendering of the National BER stimulus program. The intention to imbue the building with the spirit of wood was an integral response to the landscape, community and material culture found within the Site. The library is from the stirrups up, a wholly timber framed and clad building. It has been designed as a contemporary counterpart to the foundational timber buildings initiated by Greg Burgess in the 1980's within the school campus.
Timber was selected as the appropriate, economic and sustainable material solution. The integrity of a timber framed and detailed building was consistent with the Steiner philosophy and the desire to deliver a building which would 'belong' to it's bushland settings. Sustainability and self reliance are encoded in the design. The low embodied energy initially offered by a lightweight timber construction has been paired with solar energy generation and water harvesting, both in excess of the buildings immediate needs, to be utilised within the school.
The Loggia is a core external space additional to the original brief, creating entry and providing an informal gathering point. It is a threshold territory which is on equal terms with the interiors of the library and the landscape. The paired back resolution of this space, framed in timber provides an economic and memorable moment within the school campus.
The Library design is conscience of scale. The building's program, detail and palette of timber cladding systems have been apportioned to subtly generate 3 independent scales. The ultimate expression of which is the floating 'civic' canopy roof. The clearstorey permitting natural light into the library by day, inverting to a lantern set amongst the bush by night.
The choice of timber engenders the architecture with the sensibilities of the school and place.