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Introducing SCHIN Architects, Your Shaw Contract Design Awards People’s Choice Winner

SCHIN Architects’ Ground Floor Reid Library refurbishment project in perth has earned itself a People’s Choice gong at the 2017 Shaw Contract Design Awards.



BY Andrew McDonald

September 29th, 2014


Now in its eleventh year, the Shaw Contract Design Awards honour architecture and design firms that change the way people engage and interact in spaces. 2017 saw over 497 entries submitted from 32 countries, and it was SCHIN Architects that took home the coveted People’s Choice award from over 12,000 votes!

Honouring Original Design

Sustainability was always a required design choice for the Ground Floor Reid Library refurbishment project, imagined and realised by SCHIN Architects. Located in the heart of the University of Western Australia campus, the building is known for its Brutalist-inspired architecture and impressive presence, even featuring a moat at Ground Level, which still functions as part of the active security strategy for the library collections

Designing for the Future

In order to reduce the environmental impact of the 50 year old building that still largely ran on its original electrical and mechanical systems, SCHIN undertook a removal the 1960’s air conditioning system, replacing it with dedicated mechanical plants, which incorporate some elements of natural ventilation for the interior.

SCHIN has promoted transparency from North to South, with new glazing and the removal of internal partitions to allow natural light to penetrate as deeply as possible. Additional passive sustainable design initiatives include recycling and re-purposing finishes from the original fit-out and specification of Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) certified furniture, fixtures and fittings, as well as Shaw Contract’s Cradle to Cradle™ certified products.

Working with Shaw Contract

Flooring, and in particular patterned floors, are integral to the design of library interiors. As a 24-hour student facility, the finishes had to be both highly durable and responsive to the ambient requirements of the spaces. For example, The Circle, a glass enclosed multi-function room, is ringed in Alchemy Talc Platinum. The metallic glints and vibrant orange furniture draw the eye to this space, which has variously been used as a gallery, workshop, lecture room and group study space. Conversely, semi-private study booths are framed by Waimea Volcanic, a more subtle finish. The Northern Lounge features a complicated gradated curving pattern of Grain vinyl planks that darken as they recede from the building façade, mimicking the ingress of natural light into the heart of the building.

“The diversity of the Shaw range allowed us to compromise on price where appropriate in order to let the stars of the design shine,” said SCHIN.

Join us in congratulating SCHIN Architects on an impactful design that will serve the students and staff sustainably at the Reid Library at the University of Western Australia for years to come.

View the full list of the 2017 Shaw Contract Design Awards winners here.

Photography: Peter Bennetts


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