Michael Davies Architecture

Auburn Civic Precinct Redevelopment

Auburn Council and NSW Police Service took up a bold design that involved the demolition of all existing buildings. New facilities included council administration and chambers, Town Hall and a complete regional Police Station that was used as security command centre for the 2000 Olympic Games.

Michael Davies Architecture’s Option 2000 was simpler than the other proposed alternatives and provided the Council with a modern and relevant facility. Since the NSW Police Service required the building to be fully operational in order to allow for preparation for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, for which Auburn was the security command centre, the project was carried out to an extremely tight time schedule.

Auburn Civic Centre

The Civic Centre continues the original uses of the site in a new way that responds to the present and future needs of Auburn. The Civic Centre design respects the cultural significance of the site by continuing established uses and maintaining historic connections. The Centre is a similar height and footprint to the original buildings and fits well with the scale of the Auburn town centre. There are generous new pedestrian access ways through the Centre which link surrounding streets and the car park. All of the facilities incorporated in the Centre open onto the pedestrian ways making the civic spine a safe and lively public space. Gently sloping access is provided for people with prams or disabilities between the car park, Auburn Road and Queen Street.

The Centre consists of a number of distinct building elements linked together on the unusually shaped site by civic spaces. Located between the Council administration building and the Police Service is a three storey shared atrium, a light filled space with landscape elements and public seating areas. A dramatic wing shaped roof form permits south light and houses ventilation louvers assisting the passive solar principles that the atrium space provides.

The Council administration building is located centrally on the site providing the nexus between the public buildings to the southern side of the civic spine and the Police Service local area command centre to the north of the shared atrium.

Auburn Police Station

The Police local area command is an integral part of the Civic Centre and, sharing facilities with the Council offices, it is a working example of the Police Commissioner’s emphasis on community policing.

Auburn city centre benefits from the presence of the police in terms of safety, security and crime prevention. The Police Service facilities are housed in a four level building entered off the three level atrium shared with the Council building.

Car parking and offender detention areas are located on Level 1 of the building, reception and offices on Level 2, offices and amenities on Levels 3 and 4 above. The building is characterised by the dramatically splayed wall fronting Queen Street that is punctuated by windows and balcony areas enjoying views towards the Olympic Site at Homebush and Sydney city in the distance. The western end of Level 4 cantilevers dramatically over the pedestrian walkway providing access from Queen Street to the Police and Council buildings and the central courtyard along the civic spine.

Auburn Central Library

Auburn Central Library is located in the award-winning Auburn Civic Precinct designed by Michael Davies Architecture for Auburn Council. The Central Library provides significantly improved services to the people of Auburn, reflecting the diverse range of ethnic groups and their complex needs. It offers a combination of study and recreational activities.

The Central Library is situated at the Auburn Road end of a civic spine and is entered from a circular central courtyard that also provides access to Council’s customer service area (one-stop shop) and Town Hall. The Central Library building has a gross floor area of 1,650 square metres over three levels; staff and work room areas on Level 1, below ground; main library on Level 2; and reference and study areas on Level 3. Levels 2 and 3 are connected by stairs and a lift providing easy access for all users.

Two dramatic, curved, south-facing roofs admit abundant natural daylight to the spaces on Levels 2 and 3 and preclude the entry of direct sunlight into the spaces below. The north-facing glazed wall of the Central Library has an outlook onto the activity of the civic spine and is protected from direct sun by a series of suspended grid louvres.

Auburn Central Library, with a book stock of approximately 150,000 volumes, also services two branch libraries located within the Auburn local government area.

In addition to the normal fiction, non-fiction and reference collections, Auburn Central Library provides information technology, special needs, talking books, languages other than English, family history and local studies sections.