Category Archives: United Kingdom

The Word – National Centre for the Written Word

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Photograph by Al Crow at Hufton and Crow

Name of the Library: The Word – National Centre for the Written Word
Parent Organisation: South Tyneside Council

Street Address: 45 Market Place
Postal Address: 45 Market Place, South Shields, UK, NE33 1JF
Telephone : 44 191 4271818
Web Address: http://www.theworduk.org
Library Email : Tania.Robinson@southtyneside.gov.uk
Type of Library : Central/ Main Library Special Library
Population served: 1,156300 (Tyne and Wear)
Project Type: New Building
Size (square metres): 4115sqm
Date of Completion: 22 October 2016
Architect: FaulknerBrowns Architects

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Photograph Al Crow at Hufton and Crow

Description

In a modern society where people enjoy access to information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week then what should a library for the 21st century look like and offer to the public?

This was the challenge put forward by South Tyneside Council in their briefing to us for The Word.

‘Make the internal activities inspiring. Why would I want to come back? Why would my daughter want to come back? Why would my mother want to come back?’ Given the relationship between the real and the virtual world in which we currently live these were incredibly interesting and relevant challenges.

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Photograph by Al Crow at Hufton and Crow

We felt that a true paradigm shift in the building typology was possible. The design of The Word recognizes the crucial importance of people, books, traditional media and interactive technologies, and the dynamic relationship and complex interactions between them.

The human-centric design approach places the individual at the heart of the building and at the heart of the opportunity to inform, delight and interact.

The immersive nature, the diversity of choice combined with powerful architecture creates, we believe a significant and civilized building which points to the future and underlines the importance of the library within our modern society.

Awards, case studies, further information

  • Living North Award “Best Regeneration or Restoration Project”
  • Concrete Society National Finalist
  • Further information

 

 

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Edinburgh Central Library, Scotland, United Kingdom

Edinburgh City Library
Edinburgh City Library

Name of the Library: Edinburgh Central Library
Parent Organisation: City of Edinburgh Council

Postal Address: George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EG
Telephone : +441312428000
Web Address http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/libraries
Library Email libraries@edinburgh.gov.uk

Type of Library: Central/ Main Library
Population served: 450 000
Project Typ: Refurbishment
Size (square metres): 7140
Date of Completion 15th May 2014 (refurbishment)
Architect Lesley McMillan (original architect George Washington Browne)

Reference Library
Reference Library

Description
Edinburgh Central Library opened in 1890 and sits in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old and New Town World Heritage Site, only a few hundred yards from the Royal Mile and a five minute walk from Edinburgh Castle. It is 10 minutes walk from the City’s main railway station and sits on major bus routes. It is also one of a collection of cultural buildings in the area, including the  National Library of Scotland and the National Gallery.

The library incorporates 5 different sections – a Reference Library, Children’s Library, Lending Library, Edinburgh and Scottish Collection, Music Library and Art Library.
It is built on the site of the mansion of Sir Thomas Hope who was the King’s (Charles I) Advocate in 1626 and the library incorporates two lintels from the original building. Central Library is built in the French Renaissance style and bears a resemblance to some of the French chateaux of the Loire.

The domed ceiling of the Reference Library is the finest of its type in Scotland and the room remains almost as it was originally intended with built in catalogue drawers on the east wall and galleries above the book bays. The cruciform design makes maximum use of natural light. As well of being a place of quiet study, the Reference Library is used, outside of normal opening hours, as a venue for Edinburgh City Libraries’ popular events programmes. Author visits are filmed and are available online – http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB648C8455E5B0C5A.

Children's Library
Children’s Library

We have also hosted the launch of the prestigious Edinburgh International Book Festival in our Reference Library.

The Lending Library is also exactly where it was on opening day although then the public were unable to browse for books and had to request items from a board listing titles – now it is the busiest lending library in Edinburgh and operates with four self service units.
The final original room was the News Room, which now houses the Edinburgh and Scottish Collection. This room was originally tiled all the way round, and a frieze of tiles has been retained on the main staircase. The tiles were specially made for the building and incorporate the motifs of the castle and anchor which symbolise Edinburgh.

The library has recently benefited from a refurbishment of the Edinburgh and Scottish Collection, the Music Library and the Children’s Library. This has resulted in a blending of old and new. The Music Library now boasts composing software and a digital piano, whilst the Children’s Library has been decorated by an award winning children’s illustrator.

As well as having a striking physical presence Edinburgh Central Library also underpins much of Edinburgh City Libraries’ online presence. The Capital Collections website makes the fabulous collection of prints, illustrations and photographs held in the Central Library available across the world, whilst Our Town Stories takes the collections a step further, allowing the user to explore Edinburgh and its stories more fully.

Awards, case studies, further information
Bookseller Library of the Year Award 2012

 

 

Liverpool Central Library, United Kingdom

Liverpool Central Library entrance, by Rept0n1x, licensed under Creative Commons (via Wikipedia.org)
Liverpool Central Library entrance, by Rept0n1x, licensed under Creative Commons (via Wikipedia.org)

Name of the Library: C, UK
Parent Organisation: Liverpool City Council, UK

Street Address: William Brown Street, Liverpool, L3 8EW
Postal Address: William Brown Street, Liverpool, L3 8EW
Telephone : +44 (0) 151 233 3000
Web Address: http://liverpool.gov.uk/libraries/find-a-library/central-library/Library Email: libraries.enquiries@liverpool.gov.uk
Type of Library : Central/ Main Library
Population served: About 500,000 people live in the city of Liverpool.
Project Type (mark applicable): New Building , Refurbishment
Size (square metres): 4,500
Date of Completion: 2013
Architect: Austin-Smith Lord

Interior of Liverpool Central Library, by John Bradley, licensed under Creative Commons (via Wikipedia.org)
Interior of Liverpool Central Library, by John Bradley, licensed under Creative Commons (via Wikipedia.org)

Description
Plenty of information and pictures available here: http://designinglibraries.org.uk/documents/Liverpool_Central_Library.pdf
Awards, case studies, further information
National Building Excellence Award
Project of the Year 2014, RICS Awards

 

 

Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library, United Kingdom

Interior view of the Millennium Library. Photo Jan Richards
Interior view of the Millennium Library. Photo Jan Richards

Name of the Library: Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library, UK
Parent Organisation: Norfolk County Council, UK

Street Address: The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich NR2 1AW
Postal Address: The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich NR2 1AW
Telephone : +44 (0) 1603 774774
(incl Country code)
Web Address: http://www.theforumnorfolk.com/
Library Email: libraries@norfolk.gov.uk

Type of Library Central/ Main Library , Regional Library
Population served: About 130,000 people live in the city of Norwich, but the library also serves as a hub for the county of Norfolk (800,000 people).
Project Type: New Building
Size (square metres): 4,621
Date of Completion: 2001
Architect: Sir Michael Hopkins

The Forum, Norwich (from Wikipedia.org, licensed under Creative Commons)
The Forum, Norwich (from Wikipedia.org, licensed under Creative Commons)

Description
This is the busiest library in the UK and has held that title for the last 7 years running.

It is housed in a building called the Forum, which includes Tourist Information Centre, heritage attraction, cafe, training centre, etc. The Forum is conceived as a courtyard surrounded by a three storey, horseshoe-shaped enclosure of load-bearing brickwork, which accommodates the various activities on a series of balconies.

The courtyard roof is supported by bow-string steel trusses forming leaf shaped panels, infilled with acoustically absorbent material or glazing. Light enters into the heart of the building, creating a dynamic public Atrium.

The key sustainable strategy is the use of the building mass as a ‘passive’ environmental modifier and the introduction of ‘active’ building engineering systems, only to assist the fabric to recycle ambient energy.

Its spectacular glazed end wall frames the Gothic church tower of St Peter Mancroft, welcoming the city in, and forming a major public space in the forecourt.

http://www.theforumnorwich.co.uk/media/site-downloads/Architecture__Construction_of_The_Forum.pdf

http://www.theforumnorwich.co.uk/the-forum-trust/about-the-forum

 

Canada Water Library, London, United Kingdom

Name of the Library: Canada Water Library, UK
Parent Organisation: London Borough of Southwark Council, UK

Street Address: 21 Surrey Quays Rd, London SE16 7AR UK
Postal Address: 21 Surrey Quays Rd, London SE16 7AR UK
Telephone : +44 (0) 20 7525 2000
Web Address: http://www.southwark.gov.uk/info/437/libraries_and_locations/2421/canada_water_library
Library Email: southwark.libraries@southwark.gov.uk
Type of Library: Central/ Main
Population served: About 250,000 people live in Southwark.
Project Type: New Building
Size (square metres): 2,900
Date of Completion: 2011
Architect: CZWG (Piers Gough)

Description
Plenty of information and pictures available here: http://www.czwg.com/images/uploads/CZWG_Canada_Water_Library.pdf
http://www.dezeen.com/2012/01/06/canada-water-library-by-czwg/

 

Exeter Library, Exeter, United Kingdom

Name of the Library: Exeter Library, UK
Parent Organisation: Devon County Council, UK

Street Address: Castle Street, Exeter, Devon EX4 3PQ
Postal Address: Castle Street, Exeter, Devon EX4 3PQ
Telephone : +44 (0) 1392 384218
Web Address: http://www.devon.gov.uk/exeter_central_libraryLibrary
Email: exeter.library@devon.gov.uk

Type of Library : Central/ Main Library
Population served:
Project Type: New Building  Refurbishment
Size (square metres): not known
Date of Completion: 2014
Architect: HMY Radford

Library of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Library of Birmingham. Photographer Paul Tovell
Library of Birmingham. Photographer Paul Tovell

Name of the Library: Library of Birmingham, UK
Parent Organisation: Birmingham City Council, UK

Street Address: Centenary Square, Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2ND, UK
Postal Address: Centenary Square, Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2ND, UK
Telephone : +44 (0)121 2424242 (Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm)
Web Address: http://www.libraryofbirmingham.com
Library Email: enquiries@libraryofbirmingham.com

Type of Library: Central/ Main, Regional Library
Population served: About 1 million people live in the city of Birmingham, but the library also serves as a regional hub for the West Midlands region of England.
Project Type: New Building
Size (square metres): 31,000
Date of Completion: 2013
Architect: Mecanoo

Interior of Library of Birmingham. Photographer Paul Tovell.
Interior of Library of Birmingham. Photographer Paul Tovell.

Description
The new library was designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. BREEAM is the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. It sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and enables a building’s environmental performance to be measured. Environmentally friendly features include the use of low carbon technology for heating and cooling, low energy lighting and water conservation systems.

The Library of Birmingham has two elevated outdoor garden terraces, which offer an environment for visitors to unwind, socialize and learn, as well as bringing environmental benefits through offsetting carbon emissions and attracting wildlife and local ecology. Planting on the 3rd floor Discovery Terrace includes fruit, vegetable and herbs, and provides an opportunity to help local people to learn about where food comes from and about healthy eating. It also aims to inspire people in the community to get involved with the Library through gardening and to grow their own.
Planting on both garden terraces provides welcome green space high above the busy streets in the heart of the city centre, with the 7th floor terrace, The Secret Garden, in particular being a quieter space with denser planting. The Library is aiming to achieve a BREEAM Excellent status, and the Brown Roof and landscaping on the terraces will contribute to this, forming a natural City Centre habitat for local wildlife and birds.

And if you’re looking to do your bit to reduce your carbon footprint, the site is well-served by public transport and there will also be bicycle parking racks near the entrance on Centenary Square.
http://www.libraryofbirmingham.com/faqs-libraryofbirmingham

Awards, case studies, further information
RIBA Building of the Year 2014
Library of Birmingham