Saturday, May 25, 2024

Melbourne considers Munro hub library designs

City of Melbourne Councillors will today consider proposed schematic designs for Munro Library and Community Hub, which will occupy three storeys of the $500 million Munro development in the heart of the city’s Queen Victoria Market precinct.

More than just a place for gathering, studying and knowledge, the proposed designs raise the bar for public libraries in Australia, said Melbourne Acting Lord Mayor, Nicholas Reece.

“It’s exciting to see our vision for the Munro Library and Community Hub begin to take shape, which offers us an enormous opportunity to breathe new life into this unique corner of the city,” said Cr Reece.

“By 2040, we expect to welcome more than 24,000 new residents to the area, making it one of the fastest growing neighbourhoods in the city.”

“We’ve listened to Melburnians, and we know that there is an increasing demand for inclusive access to public spaces and amenities in this area.”

“Not only will Munro help us rise to this demand, but it will also provide a much-needed boost to the local economy by drawing in more visitors than ever before.” 

​If endorsed, the 3,100m2 space will feature: 

  • A new library branch across three levels, featuring a dedicated children’s library;
  • A 300m2 Family Services Centre, which will provide maternal health consulting rooms, a parent room, a playgroup room and secure outdoor play area;
  • A community rooftop terrace overlooking the market precinct for outdoor reading and activities; 
  • A creative makers’ space with access to 3D printers, laser cutters, paint booths and sewing machines; 
  • Two dedicated sound studios for podcast and audio recording;
  • A communal study and events space;
  • Bookable community meeting rooms;
  • Specifically curated artworks. 

The proposed design has been developed by Melbourne architecture firm, Six Degrees Architects, to support community engagement through accessible, inclusive and enriching features and programs.   

Council says it has also worked closely with Traditional Owners and Elders to ensure the proposed design reflects and honours Aboriginal culture, celebrates First Nations knowledge systems and welcomes the Aboriginal community.

The designs have been informed by community and stakeholder engagement, as well as the City of Melbourne’s Future Libraries Framework 2021–2025.   

“Libraries are the most inclusive and accessible public space we have. We want Munro to become a place that sparks imagination and provides plenty of opportunities to expand minds and transform the lives of Melburnians,” said Creative Melbourne portfolio lead, Councillor Jamal Hakim.

“It’s exciting to bring the Munro Library and Community Hub into the historic Queen Victoria Market precinct, creating a new destination for education, creativity and community support, which is sure to attract an influx of visitors to the area.” 

The library and community hub are expected to open to the public in late 2023. The development will achieve a 5 Star Green star rating, an internationally-recognised rating for excellence in sustainable design and construction.  

The Munro project is part of the City of Melbourne Queen Victoria Market precinct renewal, and will feature retail outlets, a boutique hotel, build-to-rent residential apartments and a community hub.   

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