Lewes Library 08

Audiovisual area (Image: LIFT UK)

Lewes Library 07

Press release

Lewes Library 06

Location plan

Lewes Library 05

Site plan

Lewes Library 04

Internal view - issue desk

Lewes Library 03

Entrance & Piazza

Lewes Library 02

Entrance -view by night

Lewes Library 01

Main Entrance



The new Lewes Public Library and adjoining civic space opened in August 2005.

Located within the highly sensitive historic town centre of Lewes, the open plan building houses a ground floor lending library with areas for children and tenagers, and a mezzanine floor with music, reference and Sussex collections.

The local community was closely involved in the project raising over £70,000 through an Appeal Fund which purchased a host of extras ranging from sofas to microfilm.

The building is situated in the former gardens to Lewes House, and is cut into a sloping site, a short distance from the High Street.In front is a new piazza with a small stage area for hosting public events, contributing to the cultural life of the town.

The building materials brick, flint blocks, zinc and clay tiled pitched roofs with gabled clerestory windows create a rich contextual relationship with the surrounding local architecture. A highly insulated building is combined with natural ventilation resulting in a user friendly and sustainable building.

An art installation called Align comprising a mass of dynamic linear marks similar to glassy sheets of water traversing a weir, directs visitors to the front entrance. Tne work was undertake by local artist Esther Rollinson with funding from the Arts Council.


Green Apple Award for the Built Environment and Architectural Heritage 2006, National Bronze winner

The Building

The Building

Type of library

Medium sized town library


800 m2




McMorran and Gatehouse Ltd

Building contractor


The Space

The Space

Features and services

Special services

Audiovisual/Multimedia areas, Equipment provision

External features

Art works, Nature of site, Building shape, Materials, Landscaping

Internal features

Design features

Energy efficiency


Accessibility provision

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

Interior designer

McMorran & Gatehouse Architects / Remploy Library Solutions

Furniture suppliers

Forster Ecospace, Lift (UK) Ltd, Remploy Library Solutions, WESCO

Services and facilities sSuppliers


IT provision

Number of public computer terminals: 20

Seats/study places