Providing services in town and regional planning, traffic engineering, sustainable transportation planning, urban design and waste management.

Drysdale Library


Drysdale Library

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  • Client

    City of Greater Geelong

  • Council

    City of Greater Geelong

  • Location

    Drysdale Town Square, Drysdale

  • Contact

    Scott Matheson


With strong regional growth in the City of Greater Geelong, the strategic vision for the township of Drysdale looked to create a new destination for locals and visitors alike by revolutionising the town centre and creating a $9.1m state-of-the-art library and community building, designed by Antarctica/Architecture Associates.

Located on a brownfield site in the town centre between a supermarket, a busy roundabout, car park and rows of local shops, the Drysdale community space serves the residents of Drysdale, Clifton Springs, Curlewis and northern Bellarine suburbs.  The long-term strategic vision for the site aimed to both improve pedestrian experiences for the busy town centre and deliver a space where visitors can meet and stay. Furthermore, the City of Greater Geelong sought to protect the primacy of significant heritage buildings and distinctive 50-year-old lemon-scented gum trees in the area.

While the Council had a team of project managers and architects to bring the strategic vision of the site to life, the City of Greater Geelong required expert statutory planners that could manage and interpret the approval requirements of the site.  In the pre-submission stage of the project, Ratio’s town planning consultants were engaged to assist with the statutory planning processes for the building of the library, landscaping the town centre, demolition of the existing senior citizens buildings, removal of vegetation, and the closure and pedestrianisation of an existing cul-de-sac.

Ratio’s Senior Planner Scott Matheson worked with the Council’s project advocates such as Councillors, property officers and architects, while balancing the needs of the town planning process with project regulators such as statutory planners, urban designers, traffic engineers and arborists. Scott’s role was the intermediary between the advocates and regulators at the City of Greater Geelong, translating the considerable ambitions of the project and the relevant permit triggers into a detailed plan of staged project approvals, creating application documents and detailed planning reports for each requirement.

With ratio’s extensive experience with local governments and understanding of regional Victoria, our ultimate aim was to deliver an efficient approval process, managing the complex requirements for the Drysdale community site. So, how did we do? We’ll let the client tell you.

“Ratio presented as a professional package throughout the entire process and communicated clearly and thoroughly between the design team and client on all relevant matters.  Challenges raised by the local Council planning department were dealt with promptly by Ratio to ensure the projects key targets were maintained and ultimately the planning permit was approved well and truly within the time constraints of the project.  Ratio provided a comprehensive and friendly service which I would not hesitate to use again!” said Josh Salter, Project Manager, City of Greater Geelong

After a fast and efficient approval process for all elements of the development, the proposed library, designed by Antarctica Architects and Architecture Associates, is expected to commence construction towards the end of 2021. In line with the strategic vision by the City of Greater Geelong, the community site connects the town centre and the surrounding parkland and creates a ‘much needed civic presence’[1]. The library incorporates an iconic circular form, amphitheatre and terrace design, and is entirely carbon neutral.  While the library includes meeting pods, study areas and a reading courtyard, the most striking element of the development is the rooftop garden, with a natural habitat of indigenous flora and fauna.

The Drysdale community is expected to be able to use the library in mid-2023. Ratio could not be prouder to be involved in a state-of-the-art community development, and we can’t wait to see central Drysdale becoming a hub for locals and visitors to the Bellarine Peninsula.


Images: Antarctica/Architecture Associates


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