Newcastle City Library 08

Young Peoples Area

Newcastle City Library 07

View from the top

Newcastle City Library 06


Newcastle City Library 05

Shelving and seats

Newcastle City Library 04


Newcastle City Library 03

Glass Art

Newcastle City Library 02

Newcastle City Library Exterior. Photo Copyright Tim Crocker 2009

Newcastle City Library 01

Newcastle City Library



The new City Library has been built on the previous Princess Square site. The new building has a high profile street frontage and entrance on New Bridge Street as well as an entrance from Princess Square.

Services and facilities are provided over 6 floors:

Level 1 - Information - lending and reference stock, enquiries, Agencies Area with interview room, self-return and issue with an automated sorter for returned items, informal seating and study spaces, quiet study carrels, public access pcs, listening/download points, retail area, quick choice, public toilets.

Level 2 - Performance Space, 185 seater that can be reconfigured as 3 separate meeting rooms, changing rooms, exhibition area/spill out space, 80 covers cafe with outside seating, quick surf pcs, creche, public toilets, baby feed/change, adult change.

The whole of Level 2 can be isolated from the rest of the building to provide out-of-hours use.

Level 3 - Leisure - Three main service areas:

1. Fiction, including community languages, large print, genres, graphic novels, talking books, informal seating, study spaces, public access pcs, listening/download points, public toilets.

2. Age zoned children's area including a bespoke design storytime area, homework area, children's activities room, pcs, listening/download points, designated children's toilets and baby change.

3.Music and Multi media area: lending and reference music bookstock, newspapers/magazines, CDs, DVDs, informal seating, study spaces, public access pcs, 'make your own music' facilities, and listening/download points.

Level 4 - Public Area - People's Network Suite public access pcs, Digital Theatre, with higher specification pc equipment and digital cameras, which can be used as one or two spaces, Reference Browsing area showcasing items previously hidden in stack areas, public toilets.

Staff accommodation - staff work area, storage.

Level 5 - Staff accommodation - administration, management team area, staff lounge, Boardroom, Head of Service office, storage, Stack areas.

Level 6 - Local Studies and Family History - Public Area: Lending and reference stock, family history resources, microfilm/fiche readers/printers, public access pcs, two meeting rooms, Newcastle Collection treasures from the Local Studies collection on public display in environmentally controlled conditions, public Viewing Box giving views over the city.

Local Studies Stack including strong room and photographic store in BS5454 environmentally controlled conditions.


Building structures large firm' awarded by Association, for Consulting and Engineering Excellence, , 'Community benefit' awarded by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, , 'Mary Finch accessibility', 'delegates choice' and 'design and innovation' awarded, by CILIP, , 'Best user involvement' awarded by Public and Private Finance Awards., , 'Best community project' awarded by Local Authority Building Control North Awards 2010., , 'New building public sector' awarded by Lord Mayor's Design Awards 2009., , 'Best interior design for a public building' awarded by Mixology North Awards 2009., , 'North East award' awarded by RIBA.

The Building

The Building

Type of library

Central/Main library/LRC


8300 m2




Ryder Architecture Limited

Building contractor


The Space

The Space

Features and services

Special services

Audiovisual/Multimedia areas, Baby changing facilities, Cafe/refreshment areas, Exhibition/display areas, Group study spaces, Hosting of other agencies, Meeting rooms, Open learning provision, Public address system, Specialist subject collections, Teaching rooms

External features


Internal features

Design features, Staff accommodation/facilities

Energy efficiency


Accessibility provision

Access between floors, Access within building, Assistive technology, Emergency features, Furniture height, Signage / guiding

Interior designer

Ryder Architecture Ltd.

Furniture suppliers


Services and facilities suppliers


IT provision

Electronic information displays, General, Internet access, Public access terminals, RFID, Self service circulation, WiFi

Seats/study places