March Library and Learning Centre 03

Window Panels in Children's Library

March Library and Learning Centre 02

Interior View

March Library and Learning Centre 01

Exterior View



External Features:

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.

Internal features:

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

The Building

The Building

Type of library

Medium sized town library


1000 m2




Bernard Stilwell Architects

Building contractor


The Space

The Space

Features and services

Special services

Baby changing facilities, Exhibition/display areas, Hosting of other agencies, Meeting rooms, Services to particular groups

External features

Building shape, Landscaping

Internal features

Design features

Energy efficiency


Accessibility provision

Access to building, Access within building, Furniture height, Parking, Signage / guiding

Interior designer

Leonore Charlton

Furniture suppliers

Demco Interiors, ESPO, Opening the Book

Services and facilities suppliers

Sirsidynix, Covergold Ltd, CBS, 3M

IT provision

Internet access, Public access terminals, RFID, Self service circulation, Number of public computer terminals: 12

Seats/study places