LCE Architects provided project management and full design services for this recently completed new library and associated community facilities for Springfield Parish Centre. The commission, awarded following a limited tender competition, formed a joint project between the Parish and Essex County Council, which assisted with the funding of the project. The scope of the project comprised new build and refurbishment works and hard and soft landscaping, including the re alignment of an existing public footpath.
The new Library is located on an open piece of land fronting on to a major distributor road, New Bowers Way. It is positioned between the existing Parish Centre, a prominent red brick edifice, with an entrance on the rear of the site, and a large Oak tree protected by a preservation order. The new building takes the form of a satellite linked to the main building by a dual aspect glazed entrance lobby in order to enable visitors to approach the building from its frontage on the main road and the car park to the rear,
Libraries are a focal point for the community, and our design objective for this project was to create a building with a clear identity and a welcoming appearance to the public.
Consequently the architectural quality of the new Library breaks away from the character of the existing building, presenting a crisp white pavilion with imposing colonnaded windows, reminiscent of classical temples. Its structure comprises a cross laminated shell which is exposed internally in the major spaces in the building: the library, meeting room and community room. The advantages of using this system to expedite construction timescales were clearly demonstrated in the speed of its construction, the building being completed three weeks ahead of programme.