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The Geelong Library and Heritage Centre


If you’ve ventured to Victoria’s second biggest city in the last couple of years, you may have sighted a new eye-catching presence on the skyline. Opened in November 2015, the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre (GLHC), known as ‘The Dome’, is the ultra-modern centrepiece of the low-lying cityscape.

In today’s story, our architecture columnist Stuart Harrison discusses this award-winning building by Melbourne-based firm Ashton Raggatt McDougall Architecture (ARM).


13th March, 2017

The Geelong Library and Heritage Centre (GLHC). Photo by John Gollings.

The spherical new library building, with the impressive 1970’s Geelong’s State Government Offices opposite, in the foreground. Photo by Emma Cross.

Comparison have been made between GLHC and the spherical ‘Death Star’ from Star Wars! Photo by John Gollings.

The GLHC’s form recalls the visionary work of Étienne-Louis Boullée, a great French architect of the 18th century, specifically, Boullée’s Bibliothèque du Roi (1785). Photo – courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

The library’s award-wining interiors. Photo by Emma Cross.

The design is an excellent example of truly, public minded architecture. Photo by Emma Cross.

The library is organised over eight levels, encompassing everything from contemporary library spaces, to areas focusing on children, research and for functions. Photo by John Gollings.

Expansive view of wider Geelong can be had from the top level’s sparse deck. Photo by Emma Cross.

The complex glass walls stagger in and out, reflecting the park opposite. Photo by Emma Cross.

Landscaped terrace spaces play on the glass façade system. Here, the collaboration with landscape architects Taylor Cullity Lethlean is working at its best. Photo by John Gollings.

The complex glass walls stagger in and out, reflecting the park opposite. Photo by Emma Cross.

Before GLHC, Geelong hadn’t had much ‘big-picture’ architecture in a long while. Photo by Emma Cross.

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