The Ian Potter Queenâ€™s Hall offers a unique event space inside Victoriaâ€™s historic State Library. Both regal and glamourous, the venue is one of Melbourneâ€™s newest for events after being closed to the public for 16 years, following a redevelopment last December as part of an A$88.1 million (US$57.8 million) project.
The space now functions as a 1,019m2 public reading room by day and is home to the libraryâ€™s Australian literature, chess and bridge collections. After 17.00 daily, it offers events a special space rich in heritage architecture and 19th-century design featuring Corinthian pillars, ceiling skylights and 1920s murals.
Its high ceilings and timber floor have been carefully restored to reveal the original grandeur of the hall that first opened in 1856. The overhead skylights have also been revealed after temporary measures to protect it following a dramatic thunderstorm that shattered its glass in 1901 blocked out the light.
Now hailed as the crown jewel of the State Library, the reactivated Ian Potter Queenâ€™s Hall is also connected to the stunning La Trobe Reading Room, a reopened space surrounded by a panopticon of six tiered levels topped with its famous dome. Around 220 guests can be hosted within at the long oak tables, which surround a raised platform that emcees can use. The reading room can also serve as a breakout room with wow impact on entry or a space for mingling, good for 450 in cocktail-style.