The City of Ballarat has appointed Sydney’s Studio Hollenstein to design the $2.5 million transformation of its library.

The Library of the Future project will see the Creswick Road library redeveloped to include an improved library entrance and a new children’s section. It will also see the first floor opened up as public space.

Studio Hollenstein was chosen through a competitive tender process in which 25 applications were received, with three architecture firms shortlisted to provide a final presentation.

“This is an exciting announcement for the hundreds of families and children who already [use] this facility and will take full advantage of the many new services that will be available to accommodate our current and future library users,” said Ballarat mayor Ben Taylor.

Studio Hollenstein with Stewart Architecture won a design competition for Sydney’s Green Square Library and Plaza in 2013, which then went on to win the Sir Zelman Cowen Award for public architecture in 2019.

The appointment has come in for some criticism from local architects, however, who have said the project should have been awarded to a local firm, according to local newspaper The Courier.

Planning and community engagement for the project is “tentatively scheduled” for September/October, subject to COVID-19 restrictions.

Council is funding the project to the tune of $1.9 million, while the state government is providing $500,000 through its Living Libraries Infrastructure Program.

The library is expected to be completed by January 2022.

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