Library concept design unveiled

Concept design of Armstrong Creek's librray and community centre. (COGG)

Ash Bolt

The City of Greater Geelong has released its concept design for a new $18.5 million library and community centre in the fast-growing Armstrong Creek area.

The city last week released the concept deigns for the Armstrong Creek Town Centre Library and Community Hub created by architecture firm Buchan.

The triple-storey, ultra-modern library will be located at the Armstrong Creek Town Centre and will be the first civic and social infrastructure project for the area, which is expected to cater to a community of up to 65,000 people.

“The Armstrong Creek Library and Community Hub concept design reflects the community’s vision of a state-of-the-art, environmentally sensitive, technologically enabled, library and community space, that caters to the diverse needs of the growing local community while celebrating Wadawurrung culture,” Greater Geelong mayor Stephanie Asher said.

“As the first social civic infrastructure in the suburb, the library and community hub will be incredibly important for Armstrong Creek residents as a place for lifelong learning, social connection and building a sense of community.”

The 2500 square-metre library will feature a collection of 40,000 books and resources, flexible spaces for children’s learning, youth programs and dedicated multi-purpose meeting spaces on level one, with creative spaces and bookable co-working amenities on level two.

The ground floor will serve as the civic interface with direct access to the external terraces and the town centre.

Buchan worked with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation and the city to deliver a design that embraced the area’s Wadawurrung living cultural heritage by developing a ‘Living Water’ narrative.

The Wadawurrung narrative highlights the site’s location with views Wurdi Youang (the You Yangs) and Mount Duneed, and near to Lake Connewarre, all of which are significant places for Wadawurrung people.

“The involvement in co-designing this space brings to life Wadawurrung spirit and the cultural values of Djilang and its surrounds,” Wadawurrung traditional owner Stephanie Skinner said.

“Living Water symbolises the rich values and spirit that weaves through and surrounds Armstrong Creek and which celebrates its fluidity of inspiration and sustenance to our communities.”

Buchan lead architect Aleksander Borek said the Library and Community Hub’s facade and interiors were inspired by Armstrong Creek’s diverse identity and future as a growing local community.

“The fluid waterways of this landscape to the Wadawurrung people are part of a much larger ecology and have been a natural meeting point and travelling route for centuries offering a place of sustenance, fluidity, fertility and spirituality, known as ‘Living Water’,” Mr Borek said.

“Just as ‘Living Water’ gathers and nourishes us, our vision for the new Library and Community Hub is to create a destination for the people of Armstrong Creek to gather and nourish at a central meeting point; a place of inspiration where the community and future generations can thrive together.”

He said the circular windows around the building’s perimeter epitomised solidarity and a united local community, while creating a natural and fluid envelope for the internal spaces.

“We’ve used the round window compositions to frame specific natural forms significant to Armstrong Creek, such as the You Yangs, and other meeting spots in the landscape,” Mr Boek said.

“There are also proposed educational plugs on the walls, describing to the user the cultural significance of landmarks they can see.”

Geelong Regional Library Corporation chief executive Vanessa Schernickau welcomed the designs for the new facility.

“Local people have shared their ideas for a library that is modern, accessible and inspirational in design and we are delighted with the concepts for the Armstrong Creek Library and Community Hub that we believe are reflective of the needs and vision of this growing community,” she said.

“The library will include a dedicated children’s area, creative and co-working spaces, meeting rooms and indoor/outdoor areas – all features that will undoubtedly make this a much-loved and practical gathering and working space, providing a true ‘heart’ for the community.

“I hope the people of Armstrong Creek will take the opportunity to have a look at the design concepts for their new library and share their thoughts; your feedback is valuable.”

The proposed design caters for a five-star Green Star rating and incorporates best practice environmental design principles, use of sustainable, environmentally friendly and robust materials and energy efficient low maintenance fixtures.

Community members are encouraged to view the concept plan, video flythrough and share their feedback at yoursay.geelongaustralia.com.au/ACLCH before Friday, December 3.