Interior of Dokk1 - Urban Mediaspace Aarhus. Photograph: Adam Mørk

Interior of Dokk1 – Urban Mediaspace Aarhus. Photograph: Adam Mørk

A consortium of internationally celebrated architects has been selected to design the $83.1 million State Library Victoria Vision 2020 redevelopment.

Multi-award winning Australasian design firm Architectus will join forces with Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, one of Scandinavia’s most recognised architectural practices, to transform the iconic building.

Architectus is known for its delivery of complex and technically challenging projects, receiving more than 100 industry awards for work across education, public, commercial, infrastructure and transport projects.

Their projects include the 6-star Greenstar Sydney office tower 1 Bligh St, and collaborations with the Art Gallery of NSW’s Sydney Modern with SANAA and the Queens Bridge Tower in Melbourne with Wilkinson Eyre.

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects is a global leader in contemporary library design, with projects including Scandinavia’s largest public library, the Dokk1 Urban Mediaspace, Halifax Central Library, Sir Duncan Rice Library at Aberdeen University and the extension to the Royal Library in Copenhagen.

Architectus + Schmidt Hammer Lassen recently collaborated to design the Christchurch New Central Library, which is due for completion in 2018.

Architectus + Schmidt Hammer Lassen supported by Andronas Conservation Architects, Irwin Consult and Steensen Varming Engineers will design all elements of the Vision 2020 redevelopment.

Design concepts for the Vision 2020 project will be released later this year with construction due to begin in 2017 and will be complete in 2020.

The Andrews Labor Government has contributed $55.4 million to the project which will see the restoration of the historic Queen’s Hall, the reopening the Library’s Russell Street entrance, an e-Town Hall and new spaces for early learning, digital media, entrepreneurship and exhibitions.

Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley said: “Our State Library is a centre of knowledge, inspiration and innovation; it’s also Australia’s oldest and most used public library.”

“The calibre of this consortium will bring our Library to life in new and exciting ways – making an even better experience for Victorians and visitors alike, and adding to Melbourne’s reputation as a city of world-class design.”

State Library CEO, Kate Torney said the partnership is exciting for the Library.

“The Architectus + Schmidt Hammer Lassen partnership combines strong local experience with expertise and insights into world-leading international library design.”

“These are some of the best designers of public library buildings in the world and their work at the Library will be exciting and visionary – adding to the legacy of great design that has built the Library over 160 years.”

Architectus + Schmidt Hammer Lassen project director Ruth Wilson was delighted to be awarded the contract.

“It is a huge privilege to work on a project that means so much to Melbourne, we are looking forward to unlocking the possibilities this incredible heritage building holds.”  


This article has 5 comments

  1. Emma Patterson

    I hope you dont ruin some of the historic heritage areas of the libarary like the reading room with the great dome.

  2. Jean-Francois

    Having an outstanding piece of architecture is always welcome and it will be much welcomed in this part of the CBD. However, this project sounds like a $83M toy as this announcement only talks about the past and some anecdotal reopening of a Russell street entrance. What will this new Scandinavian looking building deliver? What is the vision ? What for? Are some of the questions I would have expected to read in this statement.

  3. Just don’t mess with the Reading Room or the Dome. There is a place for history in new designs.

  4. Just don’t mess with the Reading Room or the Dome. There is a place for history in new designs.

  5. has no soul;ruining a superb historical building; with a design which will be out of fashion in s few years.

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