Urban Design Benchmarking: Melton Hub

Glass and timber combine to create a dramatic building, inside and out (SMH) Photo: Trevor Mein
Glass and timber combine to create a dramatic building, inside and out (SMH) Photo: Trevor Mein

Melton Library and Learning Hub offers exciting benchmark in urban design

The Melton Library and Learning Hub has become a community magnet since replacing a rudimentary 1970s library and council depot on a prominent site between residential streets and a retail strip.

The depot and the old library were demolished to make way for the landmark building, which was designed by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp. Geoff Croker, principal at fjmt, says there were few amenities when he visited the old library for the first time.

The building is spread over two levels. The southern elevation features E-concrete tilt panels (environmentally formed without cement) and timber battens, while the northern elevation is fully glazed and protected by a 10-metre wide timber awning. A light-filled breezeway with clear sight lines from both ends links the two entrances.

“We wanted the centre to be as transparent as possible, so people could walk past and see the various functions inside; it is considerably more than just a library,” says Croker, pointing out the café, activity rooms, informal meeting areas, a theatre that seats 80 people and rooms for maternity health nurses. And of course there is the library, which includes a separate area for children and teenagers.

Read the full story by Stephen Crafti, Sydney Morning Herald, 11 October 2014.

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