Celebrating community: Avondale Heights Library and Learning Centre

Posted on Dec 6, 2021

Revisiting one of our favourite community projects, the Avondale Heights Library and Learning Centre. Located on a prominent corner site in Melbourne’s burgeoning west, the centre provides a vital new integrated learning and leisure hub for residents.


Offering a ‘one stop shop’, the centre caters for a range of community needs across a culturally diverse population. Our design combines new and old facilities into a significant, adventurous and eye-catching landmark. The centre is easily identifiable and accessible, reinforcing a commitment to the community and its multi-cultural identity.


The project involved the refurbishment of an existing former gymnasium, centrally located on the site, including complete re-cladding of the exterior to create a uniform visual relationship with the new community centre. The new building houses office space and meeting rooms, flexible learning spaces and a library. Featuring brightly coloured and patterned panels, the materials palette includes a mix of ceramic tiles, timber, powder-coated steel, fritted glass and composite panels.


Designed to evolve over time, the centre is adaptable for small and large gatherings, featuring flexible spaces to suit the diverse social, leisure and learning needs of local residents. Thermally efficient and utilising low-energy fittings, the centre also includes a rain tank, a solar hot water system, and a south facing saw toothed roof to the library area to provide natural daylight.


Caption: The design was inspired by the bold colourings and exaggerated patterning of Melbourne artist Howard Arkley, famous for his psychedelic depiction of Australian suburbia. Photo by Trevor Mein.