Ringwood Library: Edmond and Corrigan

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Ringwood Library
Ringwood Library external polychromatic glazing, Edmond and Corrigan.jpeg
General information
Architectural style Postmodern
Address 4 Melbourne Street, Ringwood
Town or city Melbourne
Country Australia
Completed 1995
Design and construction
Architect Edmond & Corrigan Pty Ltd

The Ringwood Library: Edmond and Corrigan is situated in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, within the Ringwood Plaza complex. completed in 1995 The building stands alone as an icon in the area of Ringwood and sets itself apart from the surrounding plaza and is noticeably differentiates from eastland shopping centre, which sits to the north of the site.


The Ringwood Public Library is in Melbourne's east in (Ringwood, Victoria). In the 1950s, the town developed into a suburb and is flanked by the Maroondah Highway and the railway line, allowing easy access to Melbourne. With a large proportion of single parent families, the town embodies the changes in Australian society that took place in the latter half of the 20th century.

Part of the funds used to build Ringwood Library were contributed by an enterprising local council, who also developed a nearby shopping mall.[1] The library is highly accessible as it is situated near the centre of transport-related facilities and services, including public transport and car parks. The library was designed differently from its retail neighbours in order for it to serve as a local landmark.[2]

On approach the entrance of the library creates a sense of elevation from ground level which is created from the full height space. The coloured glass window, sage green and grey corrugated steel roof are also a focal points of the facade when observing from the entrance. A sheltered walkway connects the main shopping mall and the library. The utilization of colour and varying roof shapes shown in the interior, were specifically chosen by the architects Edmond and Corrigan, with the sole purpose of producing a suburban landmark that is easily distinguishable from the surrounding town.[3]

On the other hand, the interior planning is simplified, with an open plan interior. This space includes an entrance lobby that rises into double height space. The location of the collections and other facilities are clearly stated on oversized signposts, which can be seen from every location within the library and acts as Post-Modern play on the ordinary. The Shelves containing printed and electronic collections fan out from the information desk and are arranged in Dewey decimal system. Access to chairs and desks from the shelves is within the same vicinity. The shelves are also arranged in a manner that provides spatial division between different areas, such as children's material, large print and computing facilities. The Planning of the library is to provide ease for the user and the architectural design which is external expresses itself internally also.

The planning of internal space is divide into spaces such as, The family history section is the only public room isolated from the main collection as it stores priceless archives. The staff work areas, are situated in offices which surround the building, mainly those near the loading bay, where provision is made for storage and distribution. There is also a rest room with kitchen equipment. The location of the staff work areas was strategically chosen to assist with the surveillance of deliveries and does not compete with the public aspects of the library.[4]

The coloured glass curtain of the main window serves to shield from the intense Australian sun. The other windows are low level, with large overhangs for solar protection. Towards the side of the library, there is a small garden, which also provides more shade, and views. There is only one small, clerestory window which enables direct access to sunlight. This window is carefully controlled in order to create a cool, glare-free working environment. The library collections and facilities, are all located in a single area, which is easily visible to staff. Their arrangement allows study and browsing to occur with ease and interaction. However, the height of the ceiling and the large signpost, both of which are super-human scale. This could be an analogy of the purpose of the building, which is to store and disseminate knowledge via reading whilst also elevating the level of understanding of the world as a whole.

Postmodern design approach[edit]

The Ringwood library uses strong methodologies of postmodern architecture and contains many similarities of other work by Edmond and Corrigan such as RMIT building 8, Athan House and The VCA Theatre building.[5]

The building uses colour in a postmodern fashion and the use of different elements like the vaulted roof and polychromatic feature glazing."[6] The colours used in this polychromatic fashion are also continued on through to the external tiling which is broken up by silver in appearance futuristic looking sliding door.[7]

Future of library[edit]

Edmond and Corrigan's Ringwood Library may be demolished within the next few years, to make room for a new development from the council as a part of the Eastland shopping centre extension and renewal project. The new development is said to have included a new library in the proposed development, but not to the magnitude of the Edmond and Corrigan library that stands today, due to changing needs and conditions in today's libraries.


  • RAIA (Vic Chapter) Award for Urban Design, 1995
  • RAIA (Vic Chapter) Award of Merit, New Institutional Public buildings, 1995

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°48′31″S 144°57′49″E / 37.808663°S 144.963647°E / -37.808663; 144.963647