ARM Architecture <em>Geelong Library and Heritage Centre</em> <em>(The Dome)</em> 2013–15. Courtesy of the architects<br/>
© ARM Architecture Pty Ltd. Photo: John Gollings

ARM Architecture

ARM Architecture
(est. 1988, Melbourne)

Founded by Stephen Ashton, Howard Raggatt and Ian McDougall in Carlton in 1988, ARM Architecture is a practice that spans archi-tecture, urban design, master-planning and interior design.

The Geelong Library and Heritage Centre (2013–15) houses the central library and administration of the Geelong Regional Library Corporation, including the Geelong Heritage Centre. Located adjacent to Johnston Park, the building is interpreted as a pavilion in the landscape, in the shape of an eroded dome that both references and subverts the international legacy of dome-shaped libraries – locations of self-improvement, knowledge and curiosity. With its high visibility in the approach to the city centre from Mercer Street and Geelong Railway Station, the building becomes a definitive symbol of the city on Wadawurrung Country. More than seven storeys high and covering 6500 square metres, the structure comprises library facilities, offices, a gallery space (shared with the Geelong Art Gallery), state archive storage and public research facilities, as well as cafe and function spaces. The project cost $45 million and was officially opened to the public in 2016, receiving over 85,000 visits in its first two months of operation.

The Geelong Library and Heritage Centre was one of four libraries worldwide to be nominated for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions Public Library of the Year Award in 2016. It also won the Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture at the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2016 National Architecture Awards.

ARM Architecture has won more than ninety excellence awards for its work and are six-time winners of the Victorian Architecture Medal at the Victorian Architecture Awards. The three founding directors were joint winners of the 2016 Gold Medal, the highest honour awarded by the Australian Institute of Architects.