The Library occupies a prominent town centre location with a riverside setting. The development of the library and its grounds has created an exceptionally attractive link between the market place and the leisure centre and park.There is a large car park with a separate area for those with disabilities closer to the library. The landscaped area in front of the library was created in collaboration with an environmental artist. The roof of the building is impressive - tilting in 2 different directions, adding a geographical perspective to the building.The building is protected by security cameras and by the Redcare alert system in the event of fire or break ins.
Entering the library, the imaginative use of materials,space. colour and light make an immediate impact. The high clerestory windows are electrically operated and use rain and temperature sensors to provide passive ventilation to the building.
The prominent wooden beams, silver grey columns, stainless steeel rigging, porthole windows in the doors and the blue carpet give the building a nautical feel.The library is designed with easy access in mind. The front entrance with automatic doors and generous space between the shelving units ensures the library is accessible to all users and large motorised wheelchairs are welcomed. Other features which help people with disabilities to use the library are a split level counter, a low RFID station, low shelving, both low and high chairs with arms, a hearing loop system at the counter and in the meeting room. There are also accessible toilets.
Runner-up large new, Public Library Building Awards, 2001, Winner of Civic Trust Award for market Towns in 2003
Type of library
Medium sized town library
Bernard Stilwell Architects
Features and services
Baby changing facilities, Exhibition/display areas, Hosting of other agencies, Meeting rooms, Services to particular groups
Building shape, Landscaping
Access to building, Access within building, Furniture height, Parking, Signage / guiding
Demco Interiors, ESPO, Opening the Book
Services and facilities suppliers
Sirsidynix, Covergold Ltd, CBS, 3M
Internet access, Public access terminals, RFID, Self service circulation, Number of public computer terminals: 12