Geelong runs from the plains of Lara in the north to the rolling hills of Waurn Ponds to the south, with Corio Bay to the east and hills to the west. Geelong is the administrative centre for the City of Greater Geelong municipality, which covers urban, rural and coastal areas surrounding the city, including the Bellarine Peninsula.
Geelong City is also known as the 'Gateway City' due to its central location to surrounding Victorian regional centres like Ballarat in the north west, Torquay, Great Ocean Road and Warrnambool in the southwest, Hamilton, Colac and Winchelsea to the west, and the state capital of Melbourne in the north east.
The new Geelong Library and Heritage Centre ('The Dome'), was erected on the site of the former Geelong Volunteer Fire Brigade Station (which was demolished in 1918) and the former library adjacent to the Geelong War Memorial and Geelong Art Gallery. The centre's new building, which has been designed by the Melbourne architectural firm, ARM Architecture, features a unique geodesic dome constructed of glass and reinforced concrete, has been described as "... an iconic addition to Geelong’s architectural and cultural landscape".
The centre covers over 6,000 square metres, and includes a children’s exploration and discovery zone, a youth area, as well as a heritage centre repository, which will hold 120,000 print and multimedia collection items. The cost of the redevelopment has been put at A$45 million. The fractured dome design uses over 400 prefabricated glass-reinforced concrete tiles, which make up the sphere roof, which was described by ARM Architecture technical director Wayne Sanderson as having been "...modelled on the domes of great historical buildings."
The design of the building references the domes of the great libraries of the world, Library of Congress and the State Library domed reading room. Clad in 332 panels of glass reinforced concrete, which reinforce the appearance of a geodesic domes and allow the building to harmonise with its surrounding masonry neighbours. These included the classical Geelong Art Gallery and old Geelong Town Hall, the Art Deco courthouse and the brutalist State Government Offices. The new building was opened by Geelong Mayor Darryn Lyons on November 21, 2015.
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