A Community Exchange – Ivanhoe Library and Cultural Hub by Croxon Ramsay Architects

Words by Olivia Hides
Photography by Dianna Snape
Interior Design by Croxon Ramsay Architects
Landscape Design ACLA Consultants
Engineering Integral Group
Engineering GTA Consultants
Structural Engineering Mott MacDonald

Encouraging creativity and cultural expression, Ivanhoe Library and Cultural Hub stands as a visual reminder of community. Externally, the architecture talks to the heritage town hall it abuts, while a natural palette internally creates welcoming and warm spaces for gathering.

Designed for Banyule City Council, the Ivanhoe Library and Cultural Hub is the heart of its local community. Part of a celebrated network of libraries and learning hubs across Melbourne’s north, the building is situated next to Banyule’s art-deco town hall. The curved brick facade of the library links seamlessly with the town hall’s iconic structure, acting as a physical extension of the original building, before slowly morphing into a more contemporary design with the introduction of steel cladding and external screens.

Designed for Banyule City Council, the Ivanhoe Library and Cultural Hub is the heart of its local community.

Internally, light plays an important role in creating open, honest spaces. The facade’s external screens create opportunities for light to engage with the library’s interior. Curves are similarly continued throughout and exposed materials – such as timber and brick – add glowing warmth to spaces. Timber beams create visual screens between sections while warm greens in the carpet signal the demarcation between areas.

True to its purpose, the Cultural Hub features integrated and adaptable facilities – an artist studio and workshop, a gallery, community lounge, auditorium, makers’ space, IT lounge, meeting rooms and more. The design thrives off being able to learn from and even anticipate its users’ needs. With the aim to have something for everyone all year round, Ivanhoe Library and Cultural Hub feels inclusive yet individual as a centre to learn, create and enrich.