The Library Building

Location:
Clapham, London
Client:
Cathedral Group
Status:
Completed

The Library Building, Clapham is a mixed-use scheme including 136 apartments, a health centre and a new public library and is the result of a Public Private Partnership between London Borough of Lambeth and Cathedral Group.

The 12-storey building is formed by a series of curved, white stone volumes that are articulated to break down the overall mass and soften their visual impact on the high street while also providing an important marker for the community services within the building.

The exterior of the building is designed to be elegant and unobtrusive. Although the form of the building is unique, the colouring has been kept purposefully low key.

Cladding reinforces the form of the building but also gives it a texture that will become more interesting the closer it is viewed.

The Library has been designed as a distinctive public building with a well-defined identity that sits underneath a discreet, private building of apartments above. 

The Library’s audacious spiral design represents a path of seamless learning. On entering, it is immediately apparent where the various elements of the building are located with the ramp spiralling up towards the reading room and down towards the children’s library. The flexible central space can be transformed into a performance area when needed.

The word LIBRARY is spelt out in two-meter high, mirrored letters, embellished with mosaics incorporating items donated by local people.