This project involved construction of a new three storey mid terrace library. Accommodation includes the main library facilities on street level; with children’s area and computers, adult lending and a community room at first floor level. Staff facilities, archive and storage areas are on the lower ground floor. The WIFI system and public computers ensure that the latest IT facilities are available to all visitors.
Despite being located mid terrace, the building is flooded with daylight due to clever toplighting and large windows to front and rear. Photovoltaic panels and underfloor heating reduce running costs and ensure a comfortable environment. We used recycled hardcore and paving with high recycled content.
The site was in a confined and challenging urban setting. It involved the demolition of two mid terrace houses, underpinning the existing basement and propping of the two adjacent properties during construction. The footpath to the front of the site was in use throughout construction, so the site was accessed from the rear. All deliveries were made outside peak traffic hours and controlled by a Traffic Management Plan.
We liaised with properties adjacent the site and reassured them of the measures, both in terms of Health and Safety and structural stability, to protect them throughout construction. They had the site manager’s mobile number and could call any time to discuss concerns they might have.
The building functions as a new community ‘hub’ with a public meeting room, coffee room and multi-purpose shared space facility. This public meeting room can hold up to 40 people and is a neutral shared space that different organisations can use. The library holds regular open sessions – storytime for young children, the adult reading group, knitting group, talks, exhibitions and readings. The client and building users are very happy with their new library with an all-time record of 1000 people visiting the library a week.
|Monaghan and Keys Architects