The Warrnambool Library and Learning Centre has been shortlisted for the 2023 Australian Interior Design Awards.
The Library and Learning Centre, which was officially opened in October last year, is vying for the “public design” award.
The $20.25 million Library and Learning Centre, designed by Kosloff Architecture, was a joint project involving Warrnambool City Council, South West TAFE and the Victorian Government.
“This is great news and wonderful recognition for those involved in the project – including members of the Warrnambool community who were involved in the consultation that informed the features and design of the library,” Warrnambool Mayor Cr Debbie Arnott said.
“It’s an outstanding community asset and we acknowledge the support of the Victorian Government in providing key funding that allowed the library to become a reality.
“We now have a library that meets the needs of a growing city of 36,000.
“Since the library opened we have seen a huge increase in membership and visits.
“People are making use of all of the spaces whether it’s the tech room where you can record podcasts or the quiet spaces where you can read peacefully.
“The expanded collection – there are 68,000 items in the library after purchasing an additional 24,000 items last year - is also a drawcard.”
The new library occupies 2400sqm, a significant increase on the old library which had 620sqm of space.
South West TAFE CEO Mark Fidge said the centre was a fantastic community resource that had boosted the vibrancy of the SWTAFE Warrnambool campus
The campus has recorded a 3.5 per cent increase in student numbers and 19.8 per cent increase in student contact hour enrolments this year.
“We can’t directly attribute this to the new Library and Learning Centre but we are all very proud of this beautiful community space that is now at the heart of the Warrnambool Campus,” Mr Fidge said.
“The great thing is, more people from the community are now visiting our campus which gives them an opportunity to see what TAFE offers.
“The Kosloff team did a tremendous job in designing a user-friendly centre and it’s a great achievement to be one of only nine projects nationwide to be shortlisted for this prestigious award.”
Kosloff Architecture director Julian Kosloff said the shortlisting “recognises the role public architecture can play in bringing together many facets of the community in a generous manner and is a study in how we might breathe new life into a heritage context through a contemporary lens”.
The library was built by A.W. Nicholson and the project supported around 280 jobs during construction, including 47 apprentices. More than 20 per cent of the of the project’s work hours were completed by trainees and apprentices.
• The Victorian Government ($16.3 million)
• Warrnambool City Council ($3.12 million)
• TAFE ($830,000).
• Generous support was also provided by a number of philanthropic organisations.
• Changing Places bathroom
• Indoor/outdoor café
• Children’s Garden
• Sound Lab with mixing table and green screen for recording and videoing – imagine work, music, memoirs, podcasts
• Digital Lab with 10 high spec computers – designing, collaborating, innovating learning, discovering new and emerging technologies. – Can then scaffold to TAFE course to explore further
• 12 public access computers
• DDA and inclusive toilets on every floor
• Community meeting rooms
• Acoustic triple glazed operable wall – can create 3 meeting rooms out of 1
• Library membership has increased by 40.8%
• Participation in library learning programs has increased by 235%
• Visitors have increased by over 162%
• Loans have increase by 67%