The building was originally built in 1974 and architecturally is typical of a 1970s municipal building. The refurbishment has retained the overall 1970s architectural features such as a atrium space on the first floor and a huge striking 1970's abstract peice of artwork by weaver Peter Collingwood. The building now has far greater accessibility. There is a fully DDA compliant ramp, lift, front and rear automatic doors, a public toilet and baby change area as well as an impressive glass and steel helix feature staircase. The large meeting room has been moved to the ground floor to give greater accessibilty. A second smaller meeting room has also been created. The children's library is now integrated within the main library (previously it was located in a separate room). A flexible space has been created which can be used for author visits and other public engagement events.

A well stocked local studies area has been retained. Very large roof windows have been added so as to bathe the whole library in natural light. Award winning hanging lighting has also been installed throughout. The public area on the first floor has been greatly increased to house the county's reference stock. This has been acheived by converting under used back office space to public use.



The Building

The Building

Type of library

Central/Main library/LRC


1597 m2




Mace Group

Building contractor

Ashe Construction Limited

The Space

The Space

Features and services

Special Services

Baby changing facilities, Exhibition/display areas, Group study spaces, Hosting of other agencies, Meeting rooms, Public address system, Specialist subject collections

External features

Art works, Shared site, Building shape

Internal features

Design features

Energy efficiency

Lighting, Ventilation

Accessibility provision

Access between floors, Access to building, Access within building, Assistive technology, Critical distances, Emergency features, Equipment controls: location, Furniture height, Parking, Signage / guiding

Interior designer

Demco Interiors

Furniture suppliers

Bomefa, Crossbrook, Demco Interiors, Gresswell, Opening the Book, Peters, Point Eight, Portsdown

Services and facilities suppliers

Serco, Premier Moves, Intellident, East Herts Signs, Bibliotheca (formerly Intellident)

IT provision

Internet access, Laptop points, Public access terminals, RFID, WiFi, Number of public computer terminals: 36

Seats/study places