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Key details

Location
328 Swanston St, Melbourne

Policy objective
Social and economic infrastructure

Clients
State Library Victoria
Creative Victoria

Project Partners
Architectus
Schmidt Hammer Lassen
Built

Overview

Completed in December 2019, the Vision 2020 redevelopment project transformed State Library Victoria, Australia's oldest and busiest public library and one of Victoria's most important cultural institutions.

At the heart of Vision 2020 was the refurbishment of the Library's incomparable heritage spaces, the creation of innovative new spaces for children and teenagers, and the reinvention of our services as we embrace new technologies and promote digital literacy and creativity for all Victorians.

The ambitious program has ensured that the Library continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of our vibrant, diverse community, both in Melbourne and in regional Victoria, today and into the future.

The design was led by an international, award-winning team combining the talents of Australasian design firm Architectus with Scandinavia's Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, and opened to the public on 5 December 2019.

Delivered by Development Victoria and Creative Victoria, Vision 2020 was an $88.1 million project funded by $60.4 million from the Victorian Government, with the remainder raised through philanthropic support.

2.4ha project area

40% Increase in public space

2 million visitors per year

70% more seating

State Library Victoria unveils $88.1m transformation


 Nearly five years in the making, the renewal of Australia’s oldest and busiest public library responds to the changing needs of the Library’s growing community by providing new spaces, services and better access to knowledge.

Outcomes

  • An increase of 40% in public space to accommodate the growing number of visitors to the Library
  • Redevelopment of existing public spaces, making them more accessible, adaptable, and innovative
  • Creation of innovative new spaces for children and teenagers
  • Returning the Ian Potter Queen's Hall to public use as a reading room and event space
  • Promoting digital literacy and providing technology-enabled spaces for entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Enhanced connection with regional Victorians through the digital delivery of programs
  • Increased contribution to Victoria's tourism economy through the restoration and enhancement of heritage and exhibition spaces

Location

State Library Victoria is located on Swanston Street in the heart of Melbourne's CBD. It's bound by Swanston, La Trobe, Russell and Little Lonsdale Streets.

Timeline

  • Design commenced
  • Construction commenced 

Stage 1 opened to the public:

  • New Russell St entrance
  • New collection reading rooms
  • Isabella Fraser function space

October 2019

  • Victoria Gallery opened to the public

December 2019

The final stage opened to the public including:

  • Swanston St Foyer
  • Ian Potter Queen's Hall 
  • The Quad
  • Children's Quarter
  • Conversation Quarter
  • Ideas Quarter (including Start Space)
  • Create Quarter