very essence of a drill core sample. At the public end of the building the large cantilevered forms and facade are in perforated and non-perforated weathering steel. As you look down the side of the building the metal gives way to precast concrete panels, some with flecks of steel in them – much as you get early indicators of a mineral seam before actually bursting through to the mother lode.” In other words, the entire, long building is an embodiment of a giant core sample. “The weathered steel facade echoes the core drilling industry in another way too. As the name suggests, the steel weathers and changes, oxidising search | save | share at to a rich red rust colour. In some areas, this metal is allowed to leach into the complementary concrete panel cladding – reminiscent of how minerals leach into rock underground.” Seen from the public entry side, the building’s ground floor is clad in glass, with two levels of the oxidised weathering steel rising above that. “The ground and first floor are taken up by two levels of administration, exhibition and conference rooms looking onto the generous, double-height public viewing room,” says Thomson. “The upper floor is half plant and half hidden sawtooth roof, the latter hidden away behind the metal cladding. Below:Even the pattern of perforation on some cladding panels calls to mind the core drilling process – both in that the perforations are made from holes themselves and also because the pattern reflects the leaching process from mineral to stone. Right:The cantilevered corner of the library is an external extension of the exhibition space. The perforated metal acts as a sunshade, filtering light. At night the holes shine light outwards.