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Southmere Library

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Southmere Library

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Southmere Library

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Southmere Library

The studio was chosen ahead of four rival bids from Adam Khan Architects, Architecture 00/Studio Weave, Keith Williams Architects and Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter, to win the prestigious Peabody and Bexley Council-backed commission. The appointment comes just months after Bisset Adams’ new home for Marylebone Library opened to the public.

The RIBA-run competition called for ‘inspirational’ proposals for a ‘state-of-the-art’ library facility overlooking Southmere Lake – a short distance from the new Crossrail terminus at Abbey Wood. The landmark project is part of Peabody’s larger £1.5 billion regeneration of the 1960s Brutalist housing estate.

Consent has been given for 525 new homes, known as Southmere Village, around the new library and outline plans for three other development areas delivering 1,000 homes.

Bisset Adams Director Iain Johnston said: ‘We wanted to create a design which tells a story about the lake and the environment. It’s a truly sustainable structure constructed from cross-laminated timber, which is left exposed to create a warm interior environment. We also wanted it to be fun. The concept was inspired by the swans nesting by the lakeside. We used the pattern of a swan’s nest as a texture for the perforated cladding of the cantilevered upper box, which faces out to the lake and created a “bed of reeds” for screening the children’s library from the main space. We hope it will be a very special place to learn, browse and study.'

Peabody hopes to complete the project by summer 2021.