New library nominated for awards

Boronggook Drysdale Library. (Ivan Kemp)

Greater Geelong’s newest library is in the running to win a prestigious architecture award.

Boronggook Drysdale Library, which officially opened in May last year, has been shortlisted for two categories of the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2024 Victorian Architecture Awards.

Designed by Melbourne firm Antarctica in collaboration with Architecture Associates, Boronggook was selected from a pool of 228 submissions for the Regional Prize and Public Architecture Award shortlists.

The building was designed in consultation with Traditional Owners, local residents and community stakeholders, featuring planted roofscapes, an amphitheatre and a curved public artwork, as well as communal multi-purpose spaces and an internal courtyard garden.

Boronggook (‘turf’) is the traditional name for the area, which was once a gathering place for Wadawurrung Traditional Owners.

Geelong council contributed over $8 million to the project, with the Victorian government providing another $1m.

Geelong mayor Trent Sullivan said he was excited that the prestigious Victorian Architecture Awards had recognised the popular library’s innovative design.

“The distinctive design of Boronggook Drysdale Library takes into account the local Wadawurrung history of the area, council’s sustainability goals and the needs of the growing community,” Mayor Sullivan said.

“It not only demonstrates why Geelong is a UNESCO City of Design but encapsulates the community’s aspirations for Greater Geelong to be known as clever and creative.

“The sustainable building is a welcoming, supportive and safe space for all and has been embraced by the community since its opening a year ago.

“We thank Antarctica and Architecture Associates for their innovative mindset that helped to create a thriving gathering space and living habitat. Libraries inspire the community through books and learning materials, not to mention through the thoughtful design of spaces.”

Victorian Architecture Awards winners will be announced on Friday, June 7.