UWS unveils the John Phillips Library

John Phillips Library Opening
John Phillips Library Opening
John Phillips Library Opening
John Phillips Library Opening
John Phillips Library Opening
John Phillips Library Opening
John Phillips Library Opening

The new favourite spot on campus thanks to its user-friendly spaces, state-of-the-art technology, and peaceful outlook, the $30 million University of Western Sydney library was formally unveiled today, and officially named the John Phillips Library in tribute to the University's Emeritus Chancellor, Mr John Phillips.

The library was opened by the Governor of New South Wales, His Excellency The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd), who was guest of honour at the ceremony, along with members of the Phillips family.

A landmark public building for the University and the Penrith region, the John Phillips Library brings together the University's former Allen and Ward Library collections into one iconic and inspiring facility.

An important resource for students on campus, the University has fittingly named the building after Emeritus Chancellor John Phillips, who was a much respected and highly regarded member of the UWS family.

Mr Phillips sadly passed away in November last year. He served as Chancellor from 2001 until 2010, contributing to a critical period in the University's growth and development.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover said like its namesake, the John Phillips Library will further strengthen the University's service to, and relationship with, the Greater Western Sydney region.

"This is a library located at the centre of a university campus, but even more so, it is a facility situated within the heart of its community," said Professor Glover.

"John had an unwavering commitment to the value of higher education and the University's purpose in Greater Western Sydney. Above all else he had a rare affinity with students, and ensured their voice was heard in all discussions affecting their education.

"I can think of no better way in which to recognise John's commitment to our students and to honour his distinguished service to the University than for UWS to name this important building after him."

The six-storey, state-of-the-art facility is as impressive inside as it is out – seamlessly integrating with the other buildings on campus, and purposively designed for 21st century learning.

With the extensive book stacks forming the hub of the building, the facility features group study rooms, dynamic collaborative learning spaces that can easily configured by students for their individual needs, a ground floor café, the latest Wi-Fi and AV technologies and many informal gathering spaces to bring people together.


About the design of the John Phillips Library

  • The John Phillips Library occupies approximately 6700 square metres, is six storeys high, and has been designed as a user-friendly, student-centred space, fitting for a 21st century university.
  • As a landmark building for the campus and the Penrith region, the John Phillips Library provides students and the broader community with an integrated approach to learning in a relaxed environment.
  • The state-of-the-art facility includes group study rooms and collaborative learning spaces which have been fully integrated with the latest Wi-Fi and AV technologies.
  • The mottled red brick façade allows the building's modern shape to merge with and enhance the surrounding buildings, and integrates seamlessly with the Penrith campus masterplan.
  • The glazing throughout the building makes a visual statement and enhances the internal feel of lightness within the finished form.
  • A café space is located on the ground floor to further enhance the informal space and provides a nexus for gatherings.
  • There is also a library lawn – a landscaped, informal gathering and learning space, which is already becoming a central focus for the campus.
  • The building was designed and constructed with sustainability in mind, with responsible energy management, reduced waste and increased recycling.
  • Initial high-level design was by BVN Architecture, while Allen Jack & Cottier Architects provided detailed design development for the internal and external fabric of the building and creation of innovative spaces. The building was constructed by Taylor Construction group, and Rider Levett Bucknall provided Quantity Surveyor services, involving engineering companies Northrop Consulting, Coffey International Limited, Jones Nicolson and Harris Page.

About Emeritus Chancellor John Phillips

  • John Phillips was only the second Chancellor in the University's 25-year history, serving in the role from 1 January 2001 until his retirement on 31 December 2010.
  • His exemplary leadership of the Board and his advocacy on behalf of UWS during those 10 years contributed significantly to the growth and development of the University that we know today.
  • Outside UWS, Mr Phillips had a long and distinguished executive career spanning some 50 years.
  • He held numerous highly influential appointments within the Australian business and finance sectors, including Chairman of the Foreign Investment Review Board and Deputy Governor and Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia.
  • One of Mr Phillips' enduring legacies will be his lifelong dedication and service to Australian public life. UWS was the beneficiary for many years of this commitment to serve the Australian community.
  • For this, the University owes him a debt of gratitude and appreciation.
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