undefinedGeelong Library
Photo: Emma Cross

A regional library hub

The GRLC was formed in March 1997 to provide services for these municipalities: Borough of Queenscliffe, City of Greater Geelong, Golden Plains Shire and the Surf Coast Shire.

Through a network of the Geelong Library & Heritage Centre, 15 community libraries, two mobiles and a website, the GRLC provides free, universal access to lifelong learning, reading and discovery. 

Featuring the major regional city of Geelong, the area served also includes rural farming areas and coastal villages as well as larger tourist destinations like Torquay and Ocean Grove. The population increases with visitors and holiday makers in the summer months.

Judges’ comments

This is an award-winning, new, iconic building, visible from all directions, with its roof forming a geodesic dome. Inside there is a range of spaces. In its entirety, it has a serious wow factor.

The many inclusions are a heritage centre, archive and reading room, children's and youth floor, staff administration floor, 80-seat café, meeting rooms, event space and art gallery. One thing that stands out throughout the building is the extensive use of technology.

There is excellent use of colour, quality fittings, and state of the art audiovisual equipment.

undefinedGeelong Library and Heritage Centre
Photo: John Gollings

The library aims to provide an important place for the exchange of knowledge and information and also public, social life, cultural values and shared experience. Descriptors that spring to mind are spectacular, symbolic, people-focused, inspiring and multi-purpose. It has been embraced by the community and has had nearly 500,000 visits in the first 12 months, with very positive feedback.

There has been consideration of the Indigenous heritage of the area and it has had a visually significant impact on the local area, through its innovative and daring design. This building represents the achievement of an ambitious vision, 5 star Greenstar rated, and an integral part of cultural precinct masterplan.

An amazing design that integrates with the surrounding areas, provides for multiple uses and is an architectural statement piece.

undefinedGeelong Library and Heritage Centre
Photo: John Gollings

New build
Budget: $45.5 million
Architect: ARM Architecture
Project completed: 20/11/2015