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Vision 2020 redevelopment

Completed in December 2019, the Vision 2020 redevelopment project transformed State Library Victoria, Australia's oldest and busiest public library and one of Victoria's most important cultural institutions.

At the heart of Vision 2020 was the refurbishment of the Library's incomparable heritage spaces, the creation of innovative new spaces for children and teenagers, and the reinvention of our services as we embrace new technologies and promote digital literacy and creativity for all Victorians.

The ambitious program has ensured that the Library continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of our vibrant, diverse community, both in Melbourne and in regional Victoria, today and into the future.

The design was led by an international, award-winning team combining the talents of Australasian design firm Architectus with Scandinavia's Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, and opened to the public on 5 December 2019.

Vision 2020 was an $88.1 million project funded by $60.4 million from the Victorian Government, with the remainder raised through philanthropic support.

Key outcomes

  • Created 40% additional public space to accommodate our ever-growing number of visitors, researchers and students.
  • Redeveloped existing public spaces, making them more accessible, adaptable, modern and innovative.
  • Refurbished The Ian Potter Queen's Hall, returning it to public use as a reading room and event space.
  • Introduced fresh services and experiences to breathe new life into our heritage assets and extraordinary collections.
  • Created engaging, purpose-built spaces for children, families and teenagers to nurture creative learning, literacy and play.
  • Created a centre for digital living, promoting digital literacy and providing technology-enabled spaces for entrepreneurship and innovation to support and stimulate Victoria's creative economy.
  • Strengthened the Library's position as the hub of Victoria's learning community, connecting audiences and libraries across the state.
  • Increased connection with regional Victorians through the digital delivery of programs.
  • Increased contribution to Victoria's education economy by supporting the state's growing number of international students with improved access and spaces.
  • Increased contribution to Victoria's tourism economy through the restoration and enhancement of heritage and exhibition spaces.
  • Reinforced Melbourne's position as a UNESCO City of Literature and its reputation as a world-class centre for culture, arts and events.


Vision 2020 has been widely recognised for creating a space where all Victorians feel welcome to access the world's best knowledge.

The Vision 2020 redevelopment project has been awarded the:

  • National Property Council Innovation and Excellence Award, Best Heritage Building, 2021
  • National Property Council Innovation and Excellence Award, Best Public Building, 2021
  • Melbourne Awards, Urban Design Award, 2021
  • Australian Library Design Awards, National Exemplar Award, 2021
  • Victorian Premier's Design Awards, Architectural Design, 2020
  • American Institute of Architects, International Region Design Awards, Open International Architecture Merit Award, 2020
  • American Institute of Architects, International Region Design Awards, Sustainable Future Award, 2020
  • Australian Institute of Architects National Awards, Commendation for Public Architecture, 2020
  • Australian Institute of Architects (VIC) Awards, The Melbourne Prize, 2020
  • Australian Institute of Architects (VIC) Awards, Public Architecture, 2020
  • Australian Institute of Architects (VIC) Awards, Heritage – Conservation, 2020

Explore our magnificent spaces

Discover more about our magnificent spaces, both new and refurbished, including: