A new chapter has begun for the historic State Library Victoria in Melbourne with its latest redevelopment. Back in 2016, the team led by schmidt hammer lassen architects and Architectus won the competition to upgrade the 163-year-old library so that it can meet current and future community needs. Following numerous redevelopments throughout the library's history, this latest revamp is part of the AU$88.1 million “Vision 2020” plan.
The team was tasked with revitalizing the library's existing spaces to create new connections, enhance the visitor experience, and to provide a guiding framework for the building's future evolution.
Before redevelopment, the library was a sequence of spaces that made it easy for visitors to leave the building without being aware of the library's diverse offerings. After months of meticulously studying the building's current layout, they found solutions to reveal its unique intricacies.
“Our aim with the transformation was to allow the heritage spaces to stand out in their raw beauty while complementing them with a strong contemporary design line to help carry this beloved institution into the future. Respecting the authenticity of the spaces and existing design elements was our guiding principle,” said Elif Tinaztepe, Partner at Schmidt Hammer Lassen.
The team's design scheme focused on creating a more holistic experience with a clear hierarchy of thresholds and spaces that both visually and physically connect the library's various zones.
They revamped the Victoria Gallery, the Russell Street entrance, the Quad (which connects all four of the library’s activity courtyards), the Isabella Fraser Room, and most notably the 163-year-old Ian Potter Queen's Hall — marking the first time the hall has been open to the public after 16 years. The design team pared down the Hall to reveal its former beauty and original paint work, as well as to help link the library's other rooms.
The 1910 marble staircase, which allows direct access to the library's iconic dome, was reopened for the first time since 2003. The original marble was retained and revealed beneath a new overlay, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects describes.
All of the library's furniture, fittings, and equipment — including moveable elements and fixed pieces — were carefully selected and designed to complement the architectural interventions, Schmidt Hammer Lassen says.
“The Architectus and Schmidt Hammer Lassen design teams spent months in the library to familiarize ourselves with its intricacies, consulting with different groups of Victorians so that the final design reflected the desires of the community, and could pay homage to the historical significance of every part of the landmark site,” said Ruth Wilson, Principal and Melbourne Studio Leader at Architectus.
Client: State Library Victoria
Architects in association: Architectus, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Consultants: Andronas Conservation Architects, Irwinconsult, Steensen Varming, Arup, McKenzie Group Consulting, Salus, ID Lab
Building Area: 13,532 m2
You can find a project diagram in the gallery below.
Comment as :