NTC Architects were engaged by The University of Melbourne to refurbish over 4,500m2 of the Baillieu Library. The Baillieu Library is the flagship library of the eleven libraries the University has and is arguably the busiest in Australia. The refurbished spaces were the ground floor south and north, level 2 and level 4 north. They provided varied types of student study environments from banquet seating, tub chairs with laptop tables, group study pods with flat screen connectivity, bench desks, large group tables, computer desks and large format video projections of items from the Rare Book Collection. This project will deliver a minimum of 350 new student study seats across these areas.
The design brief was challenging. The new spaces were required to mediate between a historically significant building, an notable 2011 refurbishment and the new Arts West Project that connected into ground floor north. Our design strategies acknowledge the library as a type, the historical importance of the building, contemporary study environments and create an identity where the University and their students can continue their overwhelming patronage with pride.
The second stage will be completed in the second half of 2017.