State Library looks to the future for its revamp

Laurence DragomirFebruary 20, 20180 min read

As part of its $88 million redevelopment, the State Library of Victoria (SLV) is providing Victorian apprentices, trainees and cadets with the opportunity to help with its transformation as part of its Vision 2020. The expansive project will create additional space for public use, restore and reopen the Ian Potter Queen’s Hall, and reinstate the historic Russell Street entrance.

The State Library opened in 1856 and welcomes over 2 million visitors each year through its doors, making it Australia's oldest and busiest public library. Within its walls there are 5.1 million items ranging from books and manuscripts, to photographs, music, art and ephemera.

Such is the importance of the State Library to Victorians that the CBD North Station will be named State Library Station as part of the $11bn Melbourne Metro project.

State Library looks to the future for its revamp
Additional public space will be created as part of the State Library's $88m revamp. Image : Supplied

The project forms part of the State Government’s Major Projects Skills Guarantee initiative, meaning apprentices, trainees and engineering cadets are required to carry out at least 10 per cent of total labour hours.

Designed by Architectus and the Danish-based practice, Schmidt Hammer Lassen, the redevelopment has had 19,800 workhours completed, with 2,100 of them completed by seven apprentices, trainees and engineering cadets

This exceeds the 10 per cent target, and has provided opportunities for architecture student Sarah Ianno, and other young workers to fine-tune their skills and get valuable experience.  Sarah had the opportunity to work on the project alongside the Architectus team while on an industry placement at the company and now works at Architectus part-time whilst finishing her degree.

State Library looks to the future for its revamp
The State Library revamp has been designed by Architectus and Denmark's Schmidt Hammer Lassen. Image : Supplied

Working on the State Library of Victoria project while I was a student gave me first-hand experience of collaborating with a team of designers on a complex project and seeing how everyone works together to produce a successful outcome. Not only was I working within the Architectus team, but I was also working with suppliers seeing how all the moving parts in a project come together – a highly beneficial experience for someone new to the industry.

One of the most valuable things I learnt was the use of the Building Information Modelling tool Revit. This serves as a streamlined communication tool across the planning, design, construction and management of a project, promoting better collaboration between everyone involved. When I returned to university after my placement, I could see just how much I’d learnt in the short period of time – it’s definitely helped to further my studies.

I particularly enjoyed being involved in the selection of furniture and finishes within the Library, ensuring we adhered to our sustainability considerations. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work on this iconic Melbourne project. It’s a significant milestone at such an early stage of my design career.

- Sarah Ianno, Student of Architecture, Architectus

The Victorian State Government is providing $60.4 million worth of funding towards the project with the remaining $27.7 million coming via philanthropic support.

Built commenced construction last year with an anticipated completion in 2020, and 125 jobs created during the redevelopment.

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir is one of the co-founders of Urban Melbourne. Laurence has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience working in both the private and public sector specialising in architecture, urban design and planning. He also has a keen interest in the built environment, cities and Star Wars.
State Library of Victoria
Schmidt Hammer Lassen
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