Monday 8 September 2014

Ivanhoe Library

Image courtesy Sally Cummings
It has only recently come to my attention that Banyule City Council are proposing/planning to demolish the iconic 1960's library building at the top of Upper Heidelberg Road to make way for a new Civic Precinct. I feel so saddened by this news! So often I feel so frustrated by the lack of vision and leadership from Banyule City Council when it comes to promoting design integrity within our municipality - particularly in relation to new private development and now in public projects. I just don't understand how you can put a building like the Heidelberg Town Hall c1920's up on a pedestal yet refuse to acknowledge the significance of a key mid-century building like the c1960's library next door. So many times I have been on the first floor of the library and looked across the atrium to the glazed window wall and thought what a lovely building it is to be in. Surely future councils will be filled with regret about this decision in years to come!?

Over the weekend I was reading an article about the new Craigieburn Library and I was struck by how similar the atrium and window wall were to the Ivanhoe Library.

New Craigieburn Library by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp Architects  Photo: Trevor Mein

I understand that the needs of a 21st Century library may not be currently being met by the current building but I'm sure with the right architectural design, it would lend itself easily to modification/additions. I also feel that while I am not probably well qualified to make a judgement call on whether the existing library building should stay or go, I am not the only resident that would like to see it kept. If you agree, please consider signing Robyn Roberts' petition at - or follow this link.

Rant over....!