Location: Melville, Australia
Client: Melville City Council
Size: 5,800 m2 (760 m2 library, 700 m2 auditorium, 540m2 exhibitions, 910 m2 community facilities, 1720 m2 office, 250 m2 retail)
Credits: ACME (Nicholas Chrysostomou, Norine Chu, Shaban Ladha, Friedrich Ludewig, Eleni Meladaki, Anatolios Stathiou)
Collaborators: Andrea Collar Loyer, Manuel Eijo
Local Architect: Braham Architects
Structural, Civil, and Facade Engineers : AKTII
Melville is a suburb of Perth, on the west coast of Australia. The council is located in a number of civic buildings from the 1970s, a library, council chambers and a performance space located between Wireless Hill Reserve and a 1970s shopping centre. The impeding extension of the shopping centre requires the demolition of the existing library, and provides an opportunity to create a new civic heart for Melville.
The existing council building is characterised by a large, shading roof that unifies the different parts. The new library should be created as an extension to the existing council building by enlarging the overarching roof towards the park and the new public spaces. The roof should be made accessible to the citizens of Melville, creating a great vantage point over the Wireless Hill Reserve towards downtown Perth, and giving direct access to the existing council chamber on the roof.
The resulting public realm consists of a sequence of different public spaces, a new Square, a new Library courtyard and a refurbished council courtyard with new level access. The roof becomes a public green space of transition between the shopping centre and the park, as well as a viewpoint, a source of shade, water retention and protection from elements.