Bournemouth Central Library

BDP, Bournemouth, 2002


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Entrance exterior 

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  • Entrance exterior    
  • Relaxed, legible main space    
  • View from the ‘island’ on the second floor; the design works at linking the reception area to the street entrance below    
  • Drawing people into the library through a small entrance space    
  • One of the more secluded areas, with views    
  • Openness reinforced by glimpses from the few enclosed spaces    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second floor plan    
  • North elevation    
  • Early concept drawing (by BDP’s Gareth Jones) with the library much more an integral part of the public realm. The retail units, to be designed by others, now make the building sit more separately    

A mixed-use building, with triple height foyer, comprising a library space above retail facilities

Four key aims drove the design: to encourage the public into the library, to inspire users, to optimise working practices and to create a vibrant economic hub.

The library features a fully glazed north-facing elevation, allowing views to, and from, the street and a direct connection with the outside world.

Other features include a triple-height foyer, an information/issue desk overlooking the entire library and a sweeping ‘horseshoe’ layout on the first floor, housing a reference library, gallery and staff offices.


  • Begun: Sep 2000
  • Completed: Jun 2002
  • Floor area: 8,650m2
  • Sectors: Arts and culture, Education, Civic
  • Funding: PFI Consortium
  • Address: 22 The Triangle, Bournemouth, BH2 5RQ, United Kingdom

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