State Library of NSW

28 . 06 . 2021


Planex in Partnership with Yellowbox futureproofs State Library’s public interface.

Libraries are places of living culture, made up of people, books, collections and stories. They include community by sharing knowledge and provide a place to contemplate, play and engage the future. Today libraries are welcoming open spaces that host a range of different events, exhibitions and workshops. The State Library of NSW has been undergoing a staged redevelopment of its buildings and infrastructure in collaboration with the architect, Hassell.

Matthew Todd, a principal of Hassell stated the intention of the redevelopment was to open up the first floor of the Mitchell Building to the general public through the design of a series of galleries that will allow the library to showcase local and international collections.

As part of the redevelopment, the project required an upgrade to the public locker system at the entrance to Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room and Mitchell Library Reading Room. The tender required 240 lockers for the Lower Ground in the Macquarie Street building and 92 lockers in the Mitchell Library building (these lockers needed to be in keeping with the heritage attribute of the Mitchell Library Reading Room). The scope of works for the user interface required ease of use for end-users and the ability to manage/track how the lockers were being used.

Planex selected Yellowbox as their lock interface partner to tender on the project as they offered the best solution for the complex needs of the library. The library and architect approached Planex some years ago to review the award-winning xLocker2 system, so it was very satisfying to hear we were the successful recipients of the tender. There were a number of factors that contributed to this success including the smart technology and app-based system from Yellowbox that allows users to access the library lockers from their phone.

Another lovely connection was revealed when the library selected the perforation pattern by First Nations designer Lucy Simpson from Gaawaa Miyay studio (exclusive to Planex). As it happens, Lucy’s mural artwork is in the Library as part of the Rediscovering Indigenous Languages project. Her exclusive perforation designs capture a unique sensitivity and sense of place drawing on Baayangali (the natural world) and balance, commenting on sustainability, connection and belonging. This happy coincidence enables the library to reflect a living culture as a feature of the xLocker2 system.

Planex’s Sydney consultant Wendy Claydon has worked on the project over several years providing insight and advice to the library. It was important to maintain a sensitivity to the heritage-listed Mitchell building. Leading into the Marie Bashir Reading Room is a historical painting that was used to develop the colour palette for the lockers thus connecting the different spaces. Planex’s ability to personalise and select from over 300 colours enabled this sophisticated colour palette to be applied easily. Planex is proud to provide high-level service and maintain relationships with its clients. Our partnerships with our suppliers and designers like Lucy allow us to provide unique and personal projects.

Link to project click here.
Photography by Julia Charles