Jubilee Library

Bennetts Associates, LCE Architects, Brighton, 2004


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The Jubilee Library, Brighton 

Peter Cook/ VIEW (website)     Download Original

  • The Jubilee Library, Brighton    
  • The main facade looks onto the new public square    
  • Where the main facade turns the corner of the building    
  • The other facades are finished in hand-made glazed tiles in rich deep blues which are reminiscent of the mathematical tiles that are used in many local buildings    
  • Looking across the front of the building with window on to square to the left, the library hall to right    
  • The louvres on the front facade pattern the walls of the central hall with light    
  • The main hall of the library with bookstacks and reading spaces    
  • Drama doubled by visual  detachment of the concrete platforms from surrounding spaces    
  • View from the mezzanine level looking down inot the ground floor below with a bridge above    
  • Main upper library with large openings into surrounding circulation, offices and specialist libraries    
  • The architect wanted the central concrete structure to stand alone, appearing to be completely separate from the surrounding offices and meeting rooms, creating a sense of excitement when crossing the two-storey-high bridges    
  • The Stirling Prize judges inspect the building    
  • The Stirling Prize judges inspect the building    
  • First floor plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Mezzanine level plan    
  • Plant room plan    
  • Site plan    
  • West elevation    
  • Section    

A public library that acts as the centrepiece of a regeneration scheme of the North Laines area, Brighton

The library occupies two sides of a new city square and is the centrepiece of the regeneration of North Laines in Brighton. It is a PFI project comprising the new public library, a hotel, a residential development, offices, retail and restaurants. The masterplan is based on a new public square and reinstatement of the original street pattern.

The four-storey main facade of the library that faces onto the new public square is glazed, while the other elevations are finished in hand-made glazed tiles coloured deep blue.

The library has a formal plan, with ancillary spaces arranged around three sides of a main central hall, which accommodates most of the bookstacks and reading areas. Bridges link the rest of the building to this central hall. The essentially symmetrical plan is offset by the entrance lobby which lies to one side of the main facade, and a small cafe block which completes another side of the public square. There are three wind towers on the roof.


  • Begun: Sep 2002
  • Completed: 2004
  • Floor area: 6,500m2
  • Sectors: Civic, Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £8.1M
  • Tender date: Jul 2000
  • Procurement: PFI/ Design and build
  • Address: Jubilee Street, Brighton, BN1 1GE, United Kingdom

Professional Team


  • Curtain walling and solar shading: Portal
  • Ceramic tiling and windows: LSC
  • Windtowers: Vision