The City of Greater Geelong has announced that Buchan’s design for the Armstrong Creek Town Centre Library and Community Hub has taken out the design competition for the precinct.

The first civic and social infrastructure project within one of Victoria’s largest growth areas is the subject of a collaboration between Buchan, the City of Greater Geelong, Geelong Regional Library Corporation (GRLC), Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation and community stakeholders. Valued at $18.48 million, the library reflects the City’s designation as a UNESCO City of Design, and will be located within the Armstrong Creek Town Centre.

“As the first social civic infrastructure in the suburb, the Armstrong Creek Library and Community Hub will be incredibly important for local residents as a place for lifelong learning, social connection and building a sense of community,” says Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher.

Spanning 2,500sqm over three storeys, the library will comprise 40,000 books and resources, flexible and easily accessible spaces for children’s learning, youth programs and dedicated multi-purpose meeting spaces on level one, with creative spaces and bookable coworking 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 in developing the ‘Living Water ’narrative that embedded Wadawurrung language to deliver a design that respects and embraces the region’s cultural heritage, with the narrative illuminating the space as a gathering place for Armstrong Creek residents and First Nations peoples to discuss and share interests, trade, and socialise. The site offers views to a number of significant places for the Wadawurrung people, including Wurdi Youang (the You Yangs) Mount Duneed and Lake Connewarre.

Buchan Lead Architect, Aleksander Borek, says the library’s facade and interior have been inspired by the immediate context and diverse identity of Armstrong Creek.

armstrong creek library buchan renders

“The 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’,” he says.

“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.”

The circular windows around the building’s perimeter epitomise ‘solidarity’ and a united local community, while creating a natural and fluid envelope for the internal spaces. The windows also allow for visual connections to the environment outside from multiple panoramic vantage points.

“We’ve used the round window compositions to frame specific natural forms significant to Armstrong Creek, such as the You Yang’s, and other meeting spots in the landscape. There are also proposed edu-cational plugs on the walls, describing to the user the cultural significance of landmarks they can see,” Borek says.

Buchan’s clever curation of the proposed spaces takes users on an intuitive journey through the library. The organic floor pattern is inspired by natural flow, while finishes throughout are simple and honest using a muted, earthy palette and raw concrete surfaces to reflect the local context. A lush landscaped civic interface and feature canopy cantilevering over the main Town Square entry will create a welcoming community entrance and confluence for the town centre.

The design has been created against 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.

For more information regarding the $1 billion Armstrong Creek Town Centre development, click here.