This page will be updated throughout the project. Can't find what you’re looking for? Please submit your question to the Vision 2020 project team using our contact form.

Why are you redeveloping the Library?

State Library Victoria is Australia’s oldest and busiest public library and we have constantly evolved through our 160-year history to meet changing community needs.

Vision 2020 is the next phase in our ongoing development, which will see our spaces and services transformed, opening up 40 per cent more public space to accommodate our growing number of visitors and providing updated technology, creating new exhibition spaces, facilities for children, youth, lifelong learners and entrepreneurs.

When will construction start?

Construction is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2017.

When will the project be finished?

The redevelopment is scheduled to finish in 2020.

Will the Library be open during the redevelopment?

Yes, we will remain open and fully operational throughout the project.

There may be changes to some Library services, spaces, collection access and programs during construction. Bookmark our service alerts or subscribe to find out the latest news and project updates to help inform your Library visit.

Who is funding the redevelopment?

Vision 2020 is funded by a mix of government funding, and private and corporate philanthropic support:

  • the Victorian State Government has pledged $60.4 million
  • in August 2015 the Library received a $10 million donation from the Ian Potter Foundation to assist in the refurbishment of Queen’s Hall, which will reopen as the Ian Potter Queen’s Hall
  • in December 2016 the Library received an $8 million donation from the John and Myriam Wylie Foundation to reopen the Russell Street entrance and to thoroughly transform the eastern end of the Library with the creation of a new world-class exhibition gallery and state-of-the-art collaborative spaces, along with a vibrant café and retail area on Russell Street
  • the balance of $11.7 million needs to be funded by public, private and corporate philanthropic support.

Who is designing it?

After a public tender process, we commissioned a design team comprising internationally recognised Scandinavian firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and award-winning Australasian design firm Architectus.

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects is one of Scandinavia’s most recognised architectural practices, and a global leader in contemporary library design.

Architectus is known for its delivery of complex and technically challenging projects, and has received more than 100 industry awards for work across education, public, commercial, infrastructure and transport projects.

The two firms will be supported by Andronas Conservation Architects, Irwin Consult and Steensen Varming Engineers.

Who is building it?

Following a public tender process, we are scheduled to appoint a building team in early 2017.

What spaces will change?

The Vision 2020 project will:

  • create 40% additional public space to accommodate our ever-growing number of visitors, researchers and students
  • redevelop ground floor spaces and courtyards, making them more accessible, adaptable, modern and innovative
  • refurbish and reopen Ian Potter Queen’s Hall, returning it to public use as a reading room and event space
  • create engaging, purpose-built spaces for children, families and teenagers to nurture creative learning, literacy and play
  • create a centre for digital living, promoting digital literacy and providing technology-enabled spaces for entrepreneurship and innovation to support and stimulate Victoria’s creative economy
  • transform the Russell Street end of the historic site, opening up the Russell Street entrance and establishing a new world-class gallery to showcase the Library’s vast collection to tell Victoria’s stories, past and present
  • establish an e-Town Hall to strengthen the Library’s position as the hub of Victoria’s learning community, connecting audiences and libraries across the state

Will there be changes to heritage spaces?

We are working closely with Heritage Victoria and Andronas Conservation Architects to ensure the safety and preservation of all our heritage spaces throughout the redevelopment. The design will be respectful of the original architecture and heritage features.

When will the Ian Potter Queen’s Hall re-open?

Works will commence in 2017 to re-open the Library’s historic reading room. The Ian Potter Queen’s Hall is scheduled to re-open in 2020.

Can I still access collections?

Yes, collections will be available for the duration of the project; check the catalogue for open-access locations or to order stored items.

Some collections may be unavailable for short periods due to construction or collection moves, but we will let you know in advance. Any changes to collection access will be listed in our service alerts page.

Will there be noise during construction?

During construction, there may be some noise during opening hours but we will try to schedule noisy work outside of opening hours as much as possible.

Where can I find further information?

Visit our news and service alerts pages for the latest project updates and service changes.

Sign up to receive Vision 2020 news and alerts to your inbox.

Submit your question or query to the Vision 2020 project team using our contact form.