Saturday, April 13, 2024

Library design a good read for Armstrong Creek

City of Greater Geelong has unveiled its “bold and culturally immersive” library concept design for the fast-growing community of Armstrong Creek.

Architecture firm, Buchan, was appointed to the project after winning the design competition for Armstrong Creek area’s first civic and social infrastructure project, which will cater to a potential community of up to 65,000 people.

Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said the library design will realise an ultra-modern, tri-level, environmentally sensitive and technology rich branch library facility to be completed by early 2024.

She said the $18.48 million project reflected the City’s designation as a UNESCO City of Design and would be located within the Armstrong Creek town centre in close proximity to schools, open space and proposed cultural and sporting infrastructure.

“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.”

“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.

“Thank you to the community members who have helped shape this inspiring design and important asset for the area. I encourage you all to have a look and share your thoughts with us,” Mayor Asher said.

The 2,500 sqm library will feature a collection of 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 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.

The Mayor said that Buchan had worked with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation and the City in developing a ‘Living Water’ narrative that embedded Wadawurrung Language to deliver a design that respected and embraced the area’s Wadawurrung living cultural heritage.

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

“The Wadawurrung narrative illuminates the library as a gathering place for all of Armstrong Creek’s residents and First Nations Peoples to discuss and share interests, trade, and socialise. The site is located along Armstrong Creek with views to Wurdi Youang (the You Yangs) and Mount Duneed, and near to Lake Connewarre, all of which are significant places for Wadawurrung People.”

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’,” he 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.

“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 Yangs, and other meeting spots in the landscape. There are also proposed educational plugs on the walls, describing to the user the cultural significance of landmarks they can see,” Mr Borek said.

Geelong Regional Library Corporation CEO, Vanessa Schernickau welcomed the Armstrong Creek Library and Community Hub designs.

“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. It is a building that is sensitive to the environment, and reflects and celebrates Wadawurrung culture,” 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.”

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