The iconic State Library of Victoria has selected the team of Schmidt Hammer Lassen and Architectus to design a significant redevelopment project that will transform the State Library of Victoria to meet the current and future needs of the community.
Established in 1854, the public Library is Australia‘s oldest and busiest, attracting 1.8 million visitors and 3.3 million online users each year. Created as ‘the people’s university’ – a place of learning and discovery for all Victorians – the library is leading the preservation of the state’s heritage for future generations. Melbourne’s literary heritage and culture is internationally recognised and identified as one of UNESCO’s ‘Cities of Literature’.
The Schmidt Hammer Lassen and Architectus lead team supported by Andronas Conservation Architects, Irwin Consult and Steensen Varming Engineers will design all elements of the Vision 2020 redevelopment containing the restoration of the historic Queen’s Hall, reopening of the library’s Russell Street entrance and new spaces for early learning, digital media, entrepreneurship, exhibitions and events.
Schmidt Hammer Lassen brings a wealth of experience designing award-winning public libraries and cultural buildings around the world. Renowned for its democratic, open and accessible designs in projects such as Scandinavia’s largest public library, Dokk1 in Aarhus, Denmark, Halifax Central Library in Nova Scotia, Canada, Aberdeen University Library in the UK and the extension to the world renowned Royal Library in Copenhagen. Schmidt Hammer Lassen has an international portfolio of 15 library designs in Scandinavia, UK, North America, New Zealand and China.
We incorporate new thinking in our cultural projects and develop ‘social space’ based on how society is progressing, always keeping people in focus allowing them to enjoy the richness in atmosphere and the diversity of experience they offer. We will work closely with the stakeholders and the local community to deliver a visionary project that combines the elements of the contemporary library with an impressive local heritage, unlocking the riches of the State Library collection for all Victorians and the global library community,
– said Founding Partner Morten Schmidt, who will be leading the design team.
The State Library Victoria embarked on its Vision 2020 project last year and is excited about the selected team of architects:
The Architectus and 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
– said State Library CEO, Kate Torney.