NEWS | Victoria

Balwyn Library Launch

26th May, 2018

The Balwyn Library Redevelopment was completed in March 2018, the official launch was Saturday the 26th of May.

In 2017 arete were the successful builder to be awarded this exciting project.

The works involve an extension and refurbishment of the existing Balwyn Library building at 336 Whitehorse Road, Balwyn. Included in the works was the addition of an atrium, construction of a first floor level comprising mainly staff areas / offices, as well as demolition and reconstruction / refurbishment of lobby, library, study, meeting and amenity areas on the ground floor.

Some of our favourite and interesting features of the project include:

  • Amalgamating the old with the new; throughout the library you can see new windows in old timber frames, new feature plywood abutting existing timber ceilings, new aluminium glazing blending with the original brickwork. All working together to compliment the original structures built in 1978. The current development design by Croxon Ramsay is a real tip of the hat to Daryl Jackson the original architect.
  • The design has taken efficiencies by increasing the air-tightness of the building ensuring optimum temperatures are achieved.
  • A green roof at first floor level above the library are fed by an irrigation system recycling rainwater. Saving water and adding to offset emissions at the same time.
  • The lighting system incorporating organic response for maximum efficiencies when an area is empty.
  • A state of the art AV system was installed and is already benefitting the library with VR Demonstrations occurring with positive feedback.
  • The complicated angled plywood feature panelling was a challenge that arete rose to and now is an impressive feature throughout the library.
  • The architectural Zinc cladding providing protection to the building is also an impressive architectural feature.
  • The Kids Zone is colourful and user friendly and emphasises the library is for all ages.
  • The modern computer/tablet usability and accessibility throughout such as USB’s in the furniture works impressively with the beauty of holding a hardcopy book, the library has respectfully moved with the times.

The launch was held on 26th of May 2018 at the newly refurbished Balwyn Library with Mayor Cr Jim Parke doing the official opening along with Cr Cynthia Watson, Cr Jane Addis, Author Tony Wilson, Cr Felicity Sinfield and Robert Clarke MP. There was a large crowd of young and older, Bob the Builder was there and met with arete team as well as some excellent Lion performers.

arete management have been back to see the library fully functioning and we have to say we’re impressed with the quantity of people, adults and kids using the spaces. It is great to see people still reading at a local library and the great community spirit of Balwyn library is clear to see. Thank you to everyone who helped deliver the project and we hope all community members and staff continue to enjoy using the newly refurbished Balwyn Library.