State Library Victoria is proud to reveal the new designs for its $88.1 million redevelopment, Vision 2020.

The new designs, created by internationally acclaimed firms Architectus and Denmark’s Schmidt Hammer Lassen, will transform this iconic Melbourne institution and open up 40% more space to the public.

State Library CEO, Kate Torney, said the designs are a stunning culmination of input from across the community.

“For the past 18 months we’ve been asking Victorians what they want from their State Library – we’ve talked to people who regularly use the library, as well as with those who don’t use it now, but hopefully will enjoy all it has to offer in the future.”

“The designs strike a beautiful balance between restoring and celebrating the heritage of this wonderful institution and responding to the changing and varied needs of our visitors,” she said.

Victoria Gallery

The Victoria Gallery.

Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, outlined how Vision 2020 anticipates the needs of a new generation creative thinkers.

“The State Library Vision 2020 project has been created with generations of new library users in mind – from infants and toddlers to primary schoolers, teenagers and young entrepreneurs.”

“Across the board it will provide access to the knowledge and learning opportunities they will need to participate in the economy of the future, while at the same time celebrating the extraordinary heritage of this site.”

The delivery of Vision 2020 is being managed by Major Projects Victoria.  Minister for Major Projects, Jacinta Allan, was delighted with the designs:

“This project will transform this iconic building, modernising the library while respecting and restoring its history.”

“The new designs will increase public space by 40 per cent – creating new, exciting areas for families and kids and re-opening the Ian Potter Queens Hall after more than a decade.”

A public fundraising campaign also launched today, marked by a $3 million donation by philanthropists Maria Myers AC and Allan Myers AC QC.

The Myers donation takes the total amount of funds raised by the Library to $21.8 million, with another $5.9 million still to be raised to meet the $27.7 million target required to fund Vision 2020.

The government and philanthropic funding model is unique, with the State Government committing $2 for every $1 raised. The State Government has committed $60.4 million to fund Vision 2020.

State Library Victoria is working closely with Heritage Victoria to ensure the design and development complies with all heritage requirements.  Construction is due to commence in July 2017 and is due for completion by 2020.

Children's Quarter

The Children’s Quarter.

About Vision 2020

  • $88.1 million project – $60.4 million funded by the Victorian Government with the remaining $27.7 million to be raised through philanthropic support
  • To date the Library has raised $21.8 million including:
    • $3 million from Maria and Allan Myers QC, announced today
    • $8 million from the John and Myriam Wylie Foundation
    • $10 million from the Ian Potter Foundation
  • A public fundraising campaign to raise the remaining $5.9 million was launched today
  • Construction is due to commence in July 2017
  • 40% more public space will open
  • Three new reading rooms will open
  • Ian Potter Queen’s Hall will be restored and reopened – it is the oldest part of the Library and has been closed for more than a decade
  • The Russell Street entrance will be reopened after 15 years and will be a vibrant cafe and collaborative work space, and the new home to Readings bookshop’s city-based store
  • Readings bookshop footprint will increase by around 60%
  • A new international-standard exhibition space will be created – the Victoria Gallery, endowed by the John and Myriam Wylie Foundation
  • A new universal-access entrance will open on La Trobe Street
  • New dedicated spaces for children and families, young people and entrepreneurs will be established
  • 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

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