Illustration: Adriette Myburgh
Westminster’s Marylebone library will move from its temporary home on Beaumont Street into the brand new purpose built library building on Luxborough Street when the scheme is completed next year.
The new library has been designed by award winning architects Child Graddon Lewis, with Bisset Adams commissioned to design the interior and layout of the library.
The new library will be significantly bigger than the previous library - an increase in useable area of up to 75 per cent - and will have a community café overlooking the park, an exhibition area, meeting rooms for hire and a state-of-the-art computer study area.
It will also have a large feature-staircase that will connect the ground and lower floor levels, drawing natural light downwards, and will provide residents with more books and more space for studying, events and activities.
Marylebone Library is one of Westminster’s core libraries and houses the Marylebone Information Service, which offers a specialised Health information service amongst other reference resources.
Image: Bisset Adams
Marylebone library's former home, the Old Marylebone Town Hall, is being restored to its former glory under a £60m refurbishment and lease agreement with London Business School.
The Luxborough Street development also includes plans for nine flats, to be built on the three floors above the library. This residential element will help to offset the cost of building the library, providing value for money for Westminster’s taxpayers.
A new multi-use games area accessible from Paddington Gardens North will replace the current play area.
The green light from Westminster’s Planning Committee comes after the council consulted extensively with local residents, library users and stakeholders since October 2012 on the plans, and before that since 2009 on previous proposals.
As a direct result of resident feedback, plans have been changed to incorporate better security for the building; creating an entrance to the library from the park; relocating cycle space to reduce impact on local residents and to ensure that residential balconies look over the park, rather than existing homes.
Westminster expects that the new library will accept in the region of 500,000 visitors every year, making it one of the best-used local authority libraries in London.