Geelong Library and Heritage Centre

Project Type: New Building
Building Type: Standalone
Completed: 2015

The Geelong Library and Heritage Centre has been designed and constructed to the highest specifications, the purpose-built space allows for the delivery of an innovative and world-class library and information service. The centre serves as a community hub for the enjoyment of local residents and workers, as well as tourists visiting the region.

Nestled in the heart of the city’s flourishing cultural precinct, the iconic structure has been designed to extend into the adjacent Johnstone Park and complement the beautiful heritage architecture in the area.Design of the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre was undertaken by award-winning Melbourne firm, ARM Architecture who took inspiration from the domed shape of reading rooms in great libraries around the world. The building has a number of significant environmentally sustainable design features which have resulted in it achieving a 5 Green Star rating.

The GLHC provides the ability for a diverse ranges of uses including noisy and quiet enjoyment, in depth research and general information access, individual and group study, social and business meeting space, corporate and community training and events venue, telecommuting and urban office, programmed and unprogrammed zones.

The Heritage Centre houses Victoria’s largest regional archive with 2 km of public and private records. Visitors are able to access Council records, archives, newspapers, photographs, maps and plans, genealogical records, architectural drawings, a reference library, family and genealogical research resources. There is also state of the art printing and technology equipments available as well as digital microfilm readers, smart tables, and a map table. The collection will be available through curated exhibitions and via digital services.

Key Features:

  • Over 6,000m² of space, including six public levels
  • A collection of over 100,000 print, multimedia and heritage item
  • Archival standard Heritage Centre repository and reading room
  • High-end digital technology, including digital way-finding kiosks, video wall, gaming machines, many Internet-access computers and mobile devices, smart tables and exploratory technology including virtual reality and 3D printing
  • An entire floor dedicated to children and young people, with age-appropriate collections, digital technology and activity spaces
  • A fifth-floor major event space, featuring a flexible floor plan and an outdoor terrace with expansive views across Corio Bay
  • Community spaces for meetings and lifelong learning programs, with high-end audio visual equipment
  • Accessible amenities, including adult change facilities and hoist, and assistive technology such as hearing loops, audiobooks, digital magnifiers, screen readers and touch-screen devices
  • An 80-seat café with outdoor deck leading into Johnstone Park
  • Powerful, free Wi-Fi and high-speed Internet access

Funding Grants & Contributions:

  • City of Greater Geelong – $20 million
  • State Government of Victoria – $ 15 million
  • Federal Government of Australia – $10 million

Library Details:

Library Name Geelong Library and Heritage Centre
Organisation/ Council/ Shire Name Geelong Regional Library Corporation
Type of Build New Building
Architect or Designer ARM Architecture
Net Floor Area 6,000 sqm
Total Cost of Project $45 million
Principal Contractor/Builder Kane Constructions
Energy Rating 5 Stars
Carpet & Floor Finishings
Furniture & Fittings
Shelving Raeco
Signage Meza Signs and Vivid
Fixed/Loose Joinery
RFID Technology FE Technologies
AV Equipment Multitek
Awards & Recognition Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture. Victorian State Award for Excellence in the Building Projects Category of the 2015 Excellence in Concrete Awards, Concrete Institute of Australia