After a year’s work refurbishing the much loved 1912 Edwardian library and constructing a new glass building next to it, the BREEAM excellent space at the heart of the town’s Conservation Area is now open and running. The old and new buildings’ aesthetics make for an amazing contrast. Linked by a two storey, top-lit atrium, the red-bricked walls and the concrete-framed transparent box are a fantastic hint of the mix of classic and modern books to be found inside. The main glazed entrance to the building, which has access from the renovated “Library Green” provides enough natural light for reading, writing or just enjoying a relaxing time immersed in thousands of books and magazines.
The floor to ceiling window panes were built facing north in order to avoid solar gain and to provide amazing views of the animal and people-friendly Green, which now includes a fountain – used as an ice rink at Christmas – plenty of public seating, local artwork and even bat boxes! An array of boreholes that go 100 metres deep below the Green, provide the building with enough geothermal energy for heating and cooling the librarys interiors and making the best use of renewable local resources.
The building won ‘Best Built Project’ at this years’ London Planning Awards’ Best Built Project hosted by London Mayor Boris Johnson and has been awarded a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’ thanks to its innovative, inclusive and sustainable design.