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Waurn Ponds Library and Community Hub, Victoria, Australia

Wednesday 15 Feb 2012

Striking gold in Waurn Ponds

All images: Giovanni Mendini 
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Respected architects complete sparkling library in Victoria's new architecture hub 

This golden punctuated shell is the glistening new Library and Community Hub at Waurn Ponds on the outskirts of Victoria in south-east Australia by Whitefield McQueen Irwin Alsop. The firm’s concept arose through a simple Wikipedia search of the Waurn Ponds area which confirmed that the region’s name originated from a series of interlinked, cascading ponds. Whitefield McQueen Irwin Alsop generated a steel laser-cut solar skin pierced with holes in a range of sizes to wrap the building, supplying the necessary solar protection and a strong statement for the new library.

Besides this shimmering Library and Community Hub, Waurn Ponds is also home to Peddle Thorp Architects and Davis Langdon’s Leisurelink complex, a bold, curved waterpark in close proximity to the new scheme. There is also a baseball field nearby which formed a tight site footprint for the design team at Whitefield McQueen Irwin Alsop: “Our experience with other libraries told us people would come, what we needed to do was make the destination worth the visit. The site is a leftover portion of land wedged between two significant sports venues. Our approach was to pull the elevation forward to ‘stick its head around the corner’.”

Entrance stairways have been replaced by timber boardwalk ramps and the repeated circular motif ensures a memorable image for the facility’s visitors whilst retaining a sense of respect for the surrounding architecture and community amenities. The clean lines and simple silhouette act in direct opposition to the swirling footprint of the established Leisurelink centre and promote community integration for all users regardless of age, gender or background.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
Whitefield McQueen Irwin Alsop

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