An extension to the cultural quarter of the city involving the regeneration of a large derelict site in the city centre with an award-winning new library at its heart.
The project comprises of the masterplanning of a strategic site in Brighton & Hove, adjacent to the Dome complex and the Royal Pavillion, to create a new central library together with housing, retail, a hotel and community facilities. Former street patterns have been reinstated and a new modern urban square has been created. The library which fronts on to the square is designed to be open and welcoming and to adopt low energy principles.
The library adopts a formal plan, with activities that require enclosure around the perimeter on three sides and the main reading room/reference library in the centre, where it strikes up a direct relationship with the square outside. The intention is that this should feel like a civic building of importance – a place of repose and presence – as if to demonstrate that modern libraries are not wholly devoted to computers or are made obsolete by the internet. The engineering of the building meticulously supports the architectural intention through to the articulation of detail and environment.
In fact, the brief, the architectural form and treatment of the building, the forms of construction and the way in which the environment is tempered, all work together and support each other to deliver an award winning building to wide acclaim.
The project was undertaken in collaboration with Bennetts Associates.