GOVERNMENT WINNER
Melton Library and Learning Hub | Melton, Victoria, Australia
fjmt | francis-jones morehen thorp | Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Design Statement:
The design team were commissioned by the Shire of Melton (now Melton City Council) to deliver the new library. The site, located in the old township of Melton housed the outdated 1970s original municipal library and community hall. The brief was to provide a new contemporary library and community hub for the local community. The project features a double height reading space, multiple community meeting, theatrette and multi-purpose training spaces. The project involved detailed consultation with multiple stakeholders and members of the local community. This important piece of infrastructure has been designed to meet the latest standards in library design and aims to achieve a 5 Star Green star Design and As-built accreditation. The site location one street back from the main street, created a series of challenges to establish a sense of place within the established township of Melton. This coupled with the need for an appropriate identity for such an important public building within the community, led to a design approach that maximized the street frontage as well as setting the building back off the street to allow for a new public realm to mitigate between the loading docks of the adjoining retail tenancies. Being a community learning space, the design team focused much of its energies on maximising indoor environmental quality ensuring that indoor pollutants were minimised for all materials selected including paints, glues, sealants, vinyls and carpets. The unique design has integrated a broad range of council services through out the library itself. The maternal child heath nurses offices are adjacent to the children's library whilst the cafe and library magazine area are in the one place. Incubator spaces for local organizations are within the library, and can be accessed after the library is closed. Theaterette and study / meeting spaces are similarly dispersed within the functions of the library complex it self delivering a truly unique community facility. The spaces are all centered around a generous two level volume delights and orientates when moving through the building. The building meets a very high sustainability agenda established with working closely with the client which aims to deliver one the first 5 star green-star as built public buildings in Australia. Patronage of the facility has increased significantly and the building has been showcased as the new benchmark of contemporary library design by both uses and library staff. The new Melton Library is assisting to revitalize the surrounding precinct and is much loved by those who use it.
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