50. MACQUARIE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
The library at Macquarie University in Northern Sydney, Australia has pioneering technology to match its cutting-edge design. It is home to the first Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) in any college in the country; this uses robot cranes to pick up books and convey them to the front desk. For the building’s eye-catching look, architecture firm Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, which has offices in Australia and England, took its cues from the surrounding landscape – in particular a eucalyptus forest that graces the campus. Flora also makes an appearance on the green roof, which incorporates planted areas and grass; meanwhile, wells are used to flood the bottom floors with daylight. The stunning building – which was constructed using recycled materials – opened its doors in 2011 and contains more than 1.8 million electronic and print items.