Newcastle City Library

Ryder Architecture, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2009


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Ryder Architecture/Tim Crocker (website)     Download Original

  • Level one plan    
  • Level two plan    
  • Level three plan    
  • Level four plan    
  • Level five plan    
  • Level six plan    
  • Level seven plan    
  • Level eight plan    
  • Section A-A    
  • Section B-B    
  • Section C-C    
  • Section D-D    
  • Section E-E    
  • Section F-F    
  • Section G-G    
  • North elevation - Lisle Street    
  • East elevation - John Dobson Street    
  • South elevation - New Bridge Street West    
  • West elevation - Princess Square    
  • Exploded section    

Steel framed six-storey building for Newcastle's central library, designed to house the historic Newcastle Collection

The library contains space for reading, learning, research, relaxing, meeting and working. The building also houses the historic Newcastle Collection, a music area and reference browsing, and an exhibition and performance space.

The six storey library has a four storey entrance atrium from New Bridge Street and another entrance from Princess Square. An observation deck provides views across the south, east and west of the city.

The steel frame grid which forms the east (Dobson Street) elevation is designed to convey that the building is a giant bookcase. Across the glazing runs Kathryn Hodgkinson's 'Four Questions' screen-printed artwork.

The south (New Bridge Street) facade is fully glazed curtain walling protected and animated by aluminium louvres at high level. The north (Lisle Street) and west (Princess Square) elevations are a combination of curtain walling and metal rainscreen cladding.

Original slate flooring from the previous library adorns the walls of the Newcastle Collection, with Portland stone reused for display plinths. The plinth and stair cores are constructed from polished masonry block.

Solar panels generate electricity to pre-heat the hot water, and a rainwater recycling system provides water to flush the toilets. The building achieved a BREEAM rating very good.


  • Completed: Mar 2009
  • Floor area: 8,300m2
  • Sectors: Civic, Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £24M
  • Funding: Private Finance Initiative
  • Address: City Library, Charles Avison Building, 33 New Bridge Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AX, United Kingdom

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