Mei & Picchi | Geelong Library and Heritage Centre

Mar 2, 2017

Mei & Picchi worked with ARM Architecture to create a customised solution for storing the thousands of books and records at the new Geelong Library and Heritage Centre.

Designed by ARM Architecture, the eight-level Geelong Library and Heritage Centre occupies the same footprint as the former two-storey library it replaces.

Three conceptual challenges sparked the design. ARM Architecture wanted to celebrate the tradition of great libraries, create an ambitious, future-oriented building, and design an organic structure that lets the natural world penetrate the interior.

The building inhabits both the past and the future. Its form pays homage to the ideals of self-improvement, knowledge and curiosity expressed in the domes of great reading rooms such as the State Library of Victoria. But the eroded sphere also conjures a future that is innovative and high-tech.

The crystalline glass shards of the west- and south-facing walls are like stalactites at the entrance of a cave. They recall the Renaissance tradition of the grotto as a primal space of retreat and reflection but the structural glazing of the façades—with both vision glass and shadow boxes—gives them the highest possible thermal rating. The design adds many boughs to the Geelong library: every floor looks onto the trees.

The core of the Library, floor three, is quiet. The climate-controlled Heritage Centre houses Victoria’s biggest regional collection of public and private records. All live in a vast compactus and the entire floor is compliant with the State Archives Place of Deposit storage specifications. Its supervised reading room has smart tables and digital microfilm readers.

Mei & Picchi worked with ARM Architecture to create a customised solution for storing the thousands of books and records. ALU’s innovative Pylon expansion system was incorporated into the space, providing a versatile, state-of-the-art unit to house the records.

Pylon is a vertical expansion system that uses a rectangular profile to display a variety of objects and can be applied to residential, hospitality, retail and workplace environments.

The solid and essential design of Pylon guarantees stability and load bearing capacity, while the hardware is hidden and permits various display applications without applying further loads to the system’s lines.

Pylon is fully customisable and offers a unique and innovative way to organise any interior space.

Click here to find out more about Pylon.