"The Bairnsdale Library had undergone poor 1970’s alterations resulting in a steady decline in usage. Obtaining community support was paramount as previous architectural concepts were met with a hostile and frustrated community.

The way NOWarchitecture managed the design process, interaction with Council staff and informing the community, often under severe time constraints, is to be commended, particularly as it resulted in restoring community trust in the Council and confidence in the design.

It was very apparent that the intense consultation with staff made a significant difference to the workflow and spatial relationships but not always clear how community consultations informed the conceptual design.

The Jury appreciated the architect’s incorporation of many environmental elements and their ability to restore to civic prominence the existing heritage building and integrating it into the new library design. This was assisted by the orientation of the new addition in such a way as to showcase the restored 1889 building, thus creating a fabulous public courtyard and other outdoor learning areas.

Overall, a very well thought through library project which has re-engaged all age groups back into the library and creating a community facility of which Bairnsdale can be proud. 

Congratulations to NOWarchitecture and Bairnsdale Library”

Jury comments
2015 CEFPI Victorian Educational Facilities Awards
(Renovation /Modernisation over $2 million)