The 21st century Library in Melbourne

Published 2 February 2015 by Stora Enso
Millions of people will be visiting the centerpiece of Victoria Harbour’s new civic heart, the Docklands Library and Community Centre in Melbourne. It is being built with the construction material of the future, Stora Enso ​CLT. Th​e doors of this urban piece of architecture will be open to the public during May​ 2014.
Docklands Library and Community Centre, including an outdoor reading area, community multi-purpose meeting rooms, an interactive learning environment and a technology hub, is being built with the construction material of the future – CLT (cross-laminated timber).

Time-saving and sustainable

CLT is a massive wood building material consisting of bonded, cross-laminated single layers. Formaldehyde-free and environmentally-friendly adhesives are used for bonding. The cross structure of CLT components guarantees integral stability. The Docklands Library and Community Centre is an excellent example of how wood, and especially CLT, can deliver added value as a construction material. Use of CLT is cost-effective as it can reduce construction time by one-third. 

The library is an important urban development and will deliver a number of sustainable initiatives including a CLT structure that uses a combination of engineered timber and reclaimed hardwood. CLT board absorbs a large quantity of carbon dioxide, and building with CLT makes an essential contribution to protecting the environment.

The project is striving for environmental excellence by creating Melbourne’s most sustainable civic landmark and is hoping to achieve a six-star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

Valuing the local history

Located on the waterfront at Dock Square, the next generation library and community centre is set to become the centerpiece of Victoria Harbour’s new civic heart. It will enrich the Docklands area through access to activity, communication, collaboration, history and the creative arts.
Connections to Docklands´ rich maritime and Aboriginal heritage will be embraced and celebrated with facilities to support local historical research and educational experiences. As well as a traditional library collection, the library and the community centre will offer an interactive learning environment and a state-of-the-art digital collection, multi-purpose community spaces and a performance venue that will hold 120 people.

Docklands has a rich cultural heritage dating back to 8000 BC. The area between the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers was considered a meeting place and hunting ground for several Aboriginal communities, and, in the early 1850´s, during the gold rush, Victoria Dock was created to meet the demands of the accompanying mass migration. Docklands’ heritage will be celebrated in the centre through exhibitions telling the Docklands story.