Ringwood library’s façade is a fading mosaic of openings, developed to control the amount of direct sunlight entering the building throughout the day, with a pattern carefully optimised based on the interior divisions of functional uses. Seen from the streets, the openings create an abstract pattern, in parts disguising and unveiling the life inside. At night, the box turns into a lantern, illuminating the square and providing a visual anchor to the new public heart of Ringwood.

Project Details +

Project Details

LOCATION: Melbourne, Australia


DATE: 2012–2016

STATUS: Completed

SIZE: 3,100m2

Credits +


ACME: Andrea Collar, Stefano Dal Piva, Deena Fakhro, Paolo Moretto, Friedrich Ludewig, Walee Phiriyaphongsak, Jan Saggau



Hoare LEa/NDY


WT Partnership

Ringwood is an eastern suburb of Melbourne, and has grown in the last decades from a small high street into a dense urban conurbation.

Maroondah Council Library was located on a surface carpark outside the local Eastland shopping centre for the last 2 years. The new master plan for Ringwood has sought to turn a previously car-dominated urban waste into a true regional town centre, with an upgraded urban train station, a new public square, restaurants and a new civic library, art gallery and education building.

The Realm building was designed as a shaded box of knowledge and learning, books and digital information, floating above an open and transparent civic round floor. The building sits as a pivot on the corner of Maroondah High Street and the new urban square, and is designed to be a visually permeable, with frameless floor to ceiling glazing and with a floor finish that continues the paving pattern of the public space into the building. Large full height doors allow the ground floor to open out into the square in the summer, and invite the public into the art gallery, café and reading areas. Above the ground floor, two floors of books and study spaces provide space for learning and concentration.

Ascending a central staircase, the more private and quiet functions of the library reveal themselves culminating in a tall open plan top floor, complete with reading and study spaces.


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