The Bellarine is getting a new multimillion-dollar library, complete with a living habitat on the roof 
06.10.2021

The Bellarine is getting a new multimillion-dollar library, complete with a living habitat on the roof 

Artist's impression of Drysdale Library

Wow!

The good people of the Bellarine will soon be able to enjoy a modern and accessible library in Drysdale, with the Council awarding the $7.592 million construction tender to Wendouree’s Nicholson Construction.

The two-storey library will be part of the new Drysdale Town Centre at Wyndham Street and will feature communal spaces, quiet study areas, an adult changing places facility, an internal courtyard garden, library collection, a City of Greater Geelong customer service point and resource-efficient systems, crowned by a stunning “living habitat” covering the roof of the building.

The key takeaways

  • City of Greater Geelong has awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to build a state-of-the-art library in Drysdale, topped by a “living habitat” on the roof of the building
  • The new two-storey library will replace the Drysdale Senior Citizens Centre as part of the new Drysdale Town Centre.
  •  The sustainable building has been designed to be a welcoming and safe space that’s open to all members of the community, while low-carbon strategies are set to be incorporated into the construction

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A drawcard for the region, the living habitat will feature a canopy of plants covering the roof and a central courtyard, in a bid to ‘mitigate urban heat island effects and protect against increasing peak temperatures’, provide insect and bird habitat and improve site ecology through drought tolerant and adapted plantings.

“The roof level is sought to house a living habitat for a range of vegetation including built-in irrigation and stone mulch – an open space allows direct solar transfer into the reading courtyard below,” planning documents noted.

The project’s sustainable design also features a 99kw solar system, a 30,000 rainwater tank, low-flow water fixtures, natural ventilation and specifications for construction materials to be sourced from “sustainable and responsible sources with supply chain certification”.

“The ‘amphitheatre’ portion of the site is sought to be repurposed as an outdoor reading court or events spaces for occasional activities associated with the library,” documents noted. “The stepped design of this space allows it to act as a passive seating area for the wider town square.”

Plans for the library include a multi-coloured brick finish, aiming to complement the heritage surrounds of the Drysdale commercial area without replicating the colours or designs of the significant buildings.

Replacing the Drysdale Senior Citizens Centre in the centre of the township, the sustainable building has been designed to be a welcoming and safe space that’s open to all members of the community, while low-carbon strategies are set to be incorporated into the construction, which will begin in November.

“Libraries are more than just books and technology; they importantly increase literacy and foster a love of learning, and are a safe place to meet people, attend activities and develop new skills,” says Greater Geelong Deputy Mayor Trent Sullivan.

“The Drysdale Library’s design is quite striking and will become a centrepiece of the township, with connected biodiversity sweeping from the surrounding parkland, into the gathering space and up to the building’s green roof.

This exciting project complements our planned investment in new libraries in Armstrong Creek and Lara, upgrades to Chilwell Library and our annual funding of the Geelong Regional Library Corporation, all highlighting the Council’s commitment to provide access to high standard libraries across Greater Geelong.”

The Greater Geelong Council has injected $8.656 million over four years into this project, alongside a $1 million Living Libraries Infrastructure Program grant from the Victorian Government.

Community members, the Geelong Regional Library Corporation, Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation and other stakeholders were consulted during 2020 and 2021 on their aspirations, the project vision and final designs. An increase in open space surrounding the library meets the objectives of the Drysdale Urban Design Framework.

The Drysdale Town Square will provide a public meeting space and activity spaces.

You can read more about the project here