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St Kilda Library
& Town
Hall

Melbourne
Victoria AUS

   

 

Client: City of St Kilda (Port Phillip)
Completion: 1994
Construction Value: $7.6M

1995 RAIA (Vic Chapter)
Commendation - Institutional Alterations & Extensions
Commendation - Interior Architecture

     

 




     
 

 

     
             
 

Vividly aware of the St Kilda context, using associations and symbols of the area, the building architecturally develops the deconstruction of the cargo culture of the ex-colonies. The fetishised culture of world architecture is tested in a local setting. The open space in Carlisle Street has been redeveloped as a civic plaza, establishing a link to the library.

The extension of the existing library, originally designed by Dr Enrico Taglietti, involved an upgrade of existing facilities, providing additional book stacks, main desk, entry and public face. Much effort was undertaken to retain the original, and in adding to it, in order to positively extend the fine brutalist work.

The new street fa├žade of the addition is a curved bluestone clad 'book', with a flush S curved picture window, an 'illustration page' with overtones of a video screen, a simple and evocative image providing an obvious focus for the community. This is symbolic architecture. It is a building which plays a strong role in an important civic space.

The monumental idiom of the project continuously tests the proposition of the death of the book, while in stylistic terms the form contests another neo Baroque.