The centre combines all-inclusive leisure facilities, modern family and social care provision, a library and community facilities all in one place.
Demco Interiors partnered with Kier Construction throughout the initial consultation period and then continued as design and FF&E consultants for the library, adult and children’s services areas and council offices (including meeting rooms and kitchen).
Co-creation between partner agencies
The early stage consultations and workshops allowed all the individual departments to have their say on how they wanted their space to look and work.
For the library, Tom Appleby, Library Manager at Crewe and Nantwich Libraries, said: “Our priority was to make this a library that was accessible to everyone, which is important when you have a space over two floors. We also wanted to recycle as much as we could from the old library and at the same time create a completely new look. The Demco designer was excellent and worked collaboratively with the team from the start of the project to handover.”
Consolidating the old and the new
It was important for the people of Crewe to see that the volume of library stock was not going to be compromised in the move from their much loved old library. Demco carried out an audit of the old library and then planned the new space to fit in all the existing stock. The existing steel shelving was then upcycled and wrapped in vibrant white, with end panels to look light and fresh. New shelving with built-in lighting becomes an avenue of popular fiction, ending in an eye-popping lime green wall. The children’s library, created by Demco with standard children’s library furniture and shelving, is fun and spacious. Upstairs local history, reference and IT spaces are bright and welcoming with a much talked about local history graphic featured on the mobile shelving stack.
Under one roof
A priority for Children’s Services was to have spaces where families would feel welcome and not intimidated, so the carefully selected furnishings were of contract quality but looked homely. The same thinking applied to Adult Services, where upholstered furnishings combine contemporary styling with good care needs of strength, stability and comfort.
Council offices are functional with a mix of fixed workstations and individual tables for hot desking. A shout of colour is added with lime green and raspberry red desk mounted screens. A well-equipped small kitchen is a coffee break away from heads down working and is furnished with black and orange tables and chairs.
Staff and visitors are delighted with this new Centre which benefits from housing so many facilities in one place. Tom Appleby adds: “The move from the old single use library was always going to be a controversial step so it’s heart warming to see how well the crossover of services and facilities is working. Parents take children to their swimming lessons and then pop into the library while they wait for them to finish or children come in from school for a swim and then come into the library. It’s more than a destination, it’s a lifestyle.”