It's a prime CBD site that has been under constant redevelopment ever since the 1850s and this decade is set to be no different. The Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, announced in the last week of April that the State Library of Victoria (SLV) will receive $55.4 million dollars in the upcoming State Budget which will see a further 1,000 square metres of public-use space opened up.
The Library is also set to receive a further $28 million in philanthropic support and when that money is combined with the State Government contribution, the SLV plans to re-open the Russell Street entrance, create dedicated children and youth learning space, improve conference facilities and create a centre for digital media.
The SLV looks also set to be a hotspot for entrepreneurship as spaces for hot-desking and collaboration will be included in the library post redevelopment.
Accompanying the development announcement, the SLV has uploaded two videos to its Youtube channel. One video takes us on a journey through the evolution of the site from the 1850s and the other video is a profile of the next chapter of redevelopment. Check them both out:
From the SLV's site they key outcomes on the next chapter of redevelopment are:
- Restoring historic Queen’s Hall as a public reading room and building new rooftop garden terrace.
- Reopening the Russell Street entrance alongside a new major exhibition space, as well as cafe, retail and visitor services.
- Establishing an innovation hub that incorporates a centre for entrepreneurship to support Victorian enterprises, and a centre for digital media with e-Town Hall facilities to provide access to the latest communication technologies and connect with regional centres and public libraries across the state.
- Creating new dedicated spaces for children and young learners to support families in fostering early literacy and a love of reading.
- Reconfiguring the dome annulus galleries into open-access collection areas with more study spaces and a VIP lounge.
- Refurbishing the theatre and conference facilities to meet industry standards.
- Relocating staff office areas to open up more public space.
Lead image credit: SLV. See the full gallery of redevelopment renders.