30 March 2017
Introducing Vision 2020, the $88.1 million redevelopment of State Library Victoria with design input from Victorian schoolchildren and other community groups.
Designed by local firm Architectus together with Danish architects Schmidt Hammer Lassen, the Vision 2020 redevelopment reimagines Australia's oldest public library and one of Victoria's most beloved heritage buildings.
Using a co-design approach the architects worked with primary and secondary school students, as well as families with infants and toddlers, to help create their dream library.
New and reimagined spaces include:
- A Children's Quarter featuring a treehouse-style reading and play area, with a ground-level running track for kids to burn off extra energy.
- The historic Ian Potter Queen's Hall, closed to the public for more than a decade, will reopen as a beautiful, light-filled reading room by day and events space by night.
- The Russell Street entrance will be reopened and a new accessible entry via La Trobe Street introduced. Both will lead to a new exhibition space, the Victoria Gallery, endowed by the John and Myriam Wylie Foundation.
- A new communal workspace, cafe and a greatly increased presence for Readings bookshop.
- New and emerging digital technology will be available and an e-Town Hall will connect people across Victoria and beyond through live-streamed events and programs.
- A new function room will be established, the Isabella Fraser Room, named after the State Library's first female employee
The Vision 2020 project is a partnership between the Victorian Government and the community. The Government is investing $60.4 million in the project, with the balance being raised by the library from philanthropic sources.
To date State Library Victoria has raised $21.8 million in philanthropic gifts, with the latest donation – $3 million from Maria and Allan Myers QC – announced today to kick off a public fundraising campaign.
Created with generations of new library users in mind, construction for the Vision 2020 redevelopment is due to commence later this year and the project is expected to be completed by 2020.