Knox City Council today revealed exciting new plans for the Knox Library, which will be built as part of Scentre Group’s redevelopment of Westfield Knox.
The new library will be more than twice the size of the current library, occupying 2,000 square metres, or roughly half, of Level 3 of the former Myer department store.
The library will take pride of place within a completely reimagined precinct, featuring an architectural curved frontage into the centre and a long, glazed northern exposure taking full advantage of natural light and views over a newly designed outdoor landscape.
The library was previously planned to be relocated above the current JB Hi-Fi store in Knox Ozone. When Myer announced its departure from Knox, Council and Scentre Group seized the opportunity to bring the library into the core of the centre itself.
Knox City Council Mayor Cr Lisa Cooper said the whole way communities engage with libraries is changing, and Council expects the library to attract people who may not have seen or used a library for decades.
“Libraries used to be about books and being quiet,” said Cr Cooper.
“Contemporary libraries are much more than that. There will still be plenty of books and valued traditions like children’s story time. But there will also be wi-fi, plenty of flexible seating and desk spaces to meet, read, study, work or just chill out.”
“Knox Central is already our busiest library and the second busiest in the whole Eastern region despite the disadvantage of being small, outdated and accessed off a dark underground carpark.
“Being located inside Westfield Knox near two supermarkets, ALDI and Woolworths with extended trading hours, a range of new food outlets and other complementary tenancies is a perfect position”, she said.
“These are places everyone goes, so having the library at the centre of it all, close to plenty of parking, will be extremely convenient for library users”.
Just as libraries are evolving to meet changing needs and lifestyles, so are shopping centres.
Scentre Group, Director of Development, Stewart White said community remains at the heart of the Westfield Knox transformation.
“Listening to customers and catering to their changing needs and expectations is how we remain essential to their daily lives and ultimately, what’s guiding our decision-making around our redevelopment plans for Westfield Knox,” said Mr White.
“The Knox Library has a lot of rich history within our broader community. It was important for us to design and create a contemporary space that is both highly accessible and convenient; located close to other retail experiences and services within the centre, so it can continue to be a place people visit for leisure, education and social experiences for years to come.
"We’re looking forward to bringing our vision for Westfield Knox to life, including the new Knox Library,” he said.
Council’s Youth Information Centre, which is currently located near Headspace behind Knox Ozone, will relocate into the library once complete.
The current Knox Library will relocate into temporary premises in the former Cash Converters site behind Knox Ozone for the duration of construction. Further details and dates will be provided shortly