Attention book worms: Here are Australia’s most beautiful libraries


Australia is bursting with cool, modern libraries boasting contemporary design, stylish furniture, and even local art.

From opulent state buildings to state-of-the-art university architecture, here are seven stunning libraries to enjoy. Whether you want to work, unwind, discover a new author or get lost in a novel.

Geelong Library and Heritage Centre

The Geelong Library and Heritage Centre by ARM Architecture looks like something straight from the future. Eight storeys of crystalline shards of glass sit under a futuristic dome structure.

The stunning building sits on the same site as the two-storey library it replaced but was designed with a contemporary and high-tech spin.

The sweeping dome shape is inspired by the domed reading rooms of world-famous public libraries, such as the State Library of Victoria.

Read: Will libraries survive the ebook revolution?

State Library of Victoria

This is the type of building your imagination conjures up when you think of a typical library.

Originally known as the Melbourne Public Library, the library opened its doors to the public in 1856 with free admission to anyone over 14 years of age with clean hands!

A recent renovation has modernised the library. There’s still plenty of history and classicism to explore, but it’s been completely re-envisioned for the modern era. Mixing classic white pillars with sleek hardwood, the design of the new state library is sure to please architecture buffs.

Bankstown Library and Knowledge Centre

This stunning structure is located on the renovated site of the pre-existing Bankstown Town Hall. The architects and builders worked to salvage high quality timber, pre-cast concrete, aluminium and stainless steel of the original hall, and repurposed them into a new state-of-the-art community centre.

It’s the perfect place to grab a book and enjoy the view.

Woollahra Library, Double Bay

This beautifully designed Sydney library successfully incorporates nature and play into the bookish space. A live green wall complements the grand entrance, while hanging plants overflow from the levels above.

In addition to the stunning silent zones, practical work spaces and reading nooks, a secret doorway opens to reveal a curving slide that delivers kids to a cosy reading corner.

Read: World’s most stunning libraries

Barr Smith Library, Adelaide

In 1927, the last heir to a prominent philanthropic Australian family offered 20,000 pounds to the University of Adelaide for a new library, on the condition that it be named after his father, Robert Barr Smith.

The red brick library was completed in 1932. Many additions have been made over the years to accommodate the expanding volume collection. These days, the library holds over two million volumes and now spans over almost 21,000 square metres.

Murray Bridge Library

Murray Bridge Library is everything a library should be. It offers movie nights, storytelling seminars, talks on time management, Lego clubs and more. It’s the cornerstone of the local community.

The vibrant, contemporary building certainly catches the eye, especially at night when it’s lit up.

Read: Rescuing Australia’s lost literary treasures

City of Perth Library

Covering 3500 square metres across seven floors, this library is one of the largest in the country. It has numerous meeting rooms, an auditorium and even a terrace for nature lovers.

The library features a 13-metre-tall garden and a ceiling mural based on William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. There are also multiple glass facades and stone columns that line the building, giving it a classical feel with a distinctly modern design.

What do you love about your local library? What other beautiful libraries would you add to the list? Share your favourite library in the comments section below.

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Written by Ellie Baxter

Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.

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