Victorian State Library Reveals $88.1 Million Design For Vision 2020

State Library Victoria has revealed the new designs for its $88.1 million redevelopment, Vision 2020, resulting in 40 per cent more public space. However, a public fundraising campaign to raise $5.9 million launched today, with more funds required to complete the restoration.

The designs were created by Architectus and Denmark’s Schmidt Hammer Lassen, who will transform this  Melbourne institution and open up space to the public.

State Library CEO Kate Torney said the designs are a stunning culmination of input from across the community.

“For the past 18 months we’ve been asking Victorians what they want from their State Library – we’ve talked to people who regularly use the library, as well as with those who don’t use it now, but hopefully will enjoy all it has to offer in the future.”

“The designs strike a beautiful balance between restoring and celebrating the heritage of this wonderful institution and responding to the changing and varied needs of our visitors,” she said.

The delivery of Vision 2020 is being managed by Major Projects Victoria and Minister for Major Projects, Jacinta Allan.

“This project will transform this iconic building, modernising the library while respecting and restoring its history.”

“The new designs will increase public space by 40 per cent – creating new, exciting areas for families and kids and re-opening the Ian Potter Queens Hall after more than a decade.”

About Vision 2020

  • $88.1 million project – $60.4 million funded by the Victorian Government with the remaining $27.7 million to be raised through philanthropic support.

To date the Library has raised $21.8 million including:

  • $3 million from Maria and Allan Myers QC, announced today
  • $8 million from the John and Myriam Wylie Foundation

  • $10 million from the Ian Potter Foundation
  • A public fundraising campaign to raise the remaining $5.9 million was launched today
  • Construction is due to commence in July 2017.

Restorations and inclusions:

  • Three new reading rooms
  • Ian Potter Queen’s Hall will be restored and reopened – it is the oldest part of the Library and has been closed for more than a decade
  • The Russell Street entrance will be reopened after 15 years and will be a vibrant cafe and collaborative work space, and the new home to Readings bookshop’s city-based store
  • Readings bookshop footprint will increase by around 60%
  • A new international-standard exhibition space will be created – the Victoria Gallery, endowed by the John and Myriam Wylie Foundation
  • A new entrance on La Trobe Street
  • New and emerging digital technology will be available and an e-Town Hall will connect people across Victoria and beyond through live-streamed events and programs
  • The Isabella Fraser Room will be introduced, named after the State Library’s first female employee.

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