A unique dome design by ARM Architecture has been unveiled, revealing what will be the new $45 million Geelong Library and Heritage Centre.

The City of Greater Geelong endorsed the dome design, which they hope will become a new icon once built on the existing site in Johnstone Park.

 Mayor John Mitchell noted the design had been developed by Melbourne architects ARM Architecture who recently completed the $136 million redevelopment of Hamer Hall (Arts Centre Melbourne), which received a fantastic response.

 “It’s something different for Geelong – it will arguably be our city’s most iconic building that will draw people in and put us on the map,” Mitchell said.

 “The architects have deliberately gone for a modern design that complements rather than competes with the existing heritage buildings in the precinct.”

 “We see this approach work well in cities around the world including capitals such as Paris and London as well regional centres like Bilbao in Spain.”

Deputy Mayor Cameron Granger said ARM Architecture had extensive expertise in designing buildings that evoke interest and stand out from the rest but at the same time complement their surrounds.

 “Buildings like this create their own history for future generations,” Granger said.

 “It will be five-storeys with all the mod cons of a 21st century library and heritage centre.” 

 Barbara Abley, who holds the City’s Arts and Culture portfolio said it had been more than 50 years since the current library and heritage centre was constructed.

“Our city has grown immeasurably since then leaving the existing building sorely lacking for a municipality of more than 220,000 people,” Abley said.

“A modern library is about more than just books, it will be a significant cultural asset for the wider region, which will boost our appeal as a tourism destination and play an important part in further activating central Geelong.”

Chair of the Geelong Regional Library Board Cr Andy Richards said “We know modern library services help shape smarter and more connected local communities.”

“This magnificent, architecturally designed building will not only be a landmark for our city and future generations, it will significantly improve and strengthen library services for the CBD and the entire regional network”, he said.

The City will be running community info sessions on the new Geelong Library and Heritage Centre in October/November, which will give the public the chance to talk to the architects, ask questions and give feedback.

 Works are expected to start mid 2013 and be completed by late 2015.

The redevelopment is being funded by the City of Greater Geelong ($20 million), the State Government ($15 million) and the Federal Government ($10 million).


Images: Geelong Advertiser