New library and community for QVM’s Munro site
The Munro Library and Community Hub is on track to transforming the Queen Victoria Market precinct following positive feedback from the community.
The plans to move forward came after the schematic design of the library and hub was unanimously endorsed by City of Melbourne councillors at the Future Melbourne Committee meeting on August 2.
“It’s exciting to see our vision for the Munro Library and Community Hub begin to take shape, which offers us an enormous opportunity to breathe new life into this unique corner of the city,” Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece said.
“By 2040, we expect to welcome more than 24,000 new residents to the area, making it one of the fastest growing neighbourhoods in the city.”
Community consultation has been widely conducted for this project, with the council receiving 318 community member responses when engagement was carried out earlier this year from January to March.
From the responses, the council said that wellbeing and connecting with locals in the community were top priorities for people in the area, with the data to be considered as part of planning for the library’s collections and programs.
The council has also worked closely with Traditional Owners and Elders throughout the planning process to ensure the space honours Aboriginal culture, celebrates First Nations knowledge systems and welcomes the Aboriginal community.
“We’ve listened to Melburnians, and we know that there is an increasing demand for inclusive access to public spaces and amenities in this area,” Cr Reece said.
The library and hub’s proposed design has been developed by leading Melbourne architecture firm Six Degrees Architects and will occupy three storeys of the $500 million five-storey Munro development, which was completed late last year.
Included in the endorsed design are a dedicated children’s library, a family services centre, a community rooftop terrace for outdoor reading and activities, a creative makers’ space, two sound studios, communal study and events spaces and bookable meeting rooms.
The council’s Creative Melbourne portfolio lead Cr Jamal Hakim said the hope of all of the endorsed features was to ensure the library was not only a place to study, but also a space where the community’s imagination, learning and wellbeing thrived.
“Libraries are the most inclusive and accessible public space we have. We want Munro to become a place that sparks imagination and provides plenty of opportunities to expand minds and transform the lives of Melburnians,” Cr Hakim said.
The 3100 sqm library and community hub is set to open to the public in late 2023 with goals of achieving a five-star green star rating – an internationally-recognised rating for excellence in sustainable design and construction. •