CITY of Greater Bendigo chief executive Craig Niemann said council was delighted Bendigo Library had been recognised at the Victorian Architecture Awards.
The Australian Institute of Architects commended the building at its annual awards night on Friday.
Mr Niemann said the library was a challenging project for architects because they were not working with a blank canvas, but had to design within the constraints of the existing 30-year-old structure.
He said architects also had to consider the aesthetic effect of a modern building in the context of Bendigo's historic centre, especially the town hall next door.
He said the new library had features added to make it more environmentally friendly. "It's north facing, so there's much better light in winter particularly."
Mr Niemann said plenty of natural light helped cut back on power bills.
He said a key aim for the new design was to make it an "open, friendly and inviting place" where people who didn't even usually use libraries would want to go.
He said council had consulted with the community on what the new space should be like.
"Any of our public buildings, we make and create them for people," he said.
He said Bendigo Library received about 500,000 visits each year, but that numbers had been increasing since the it had re-opened.
He said construction took about 18 months.