Crawley Public Library

Penoyre & Prasad, Crawley, 2008


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East elevation facade 

Tim Soar (website)     Download Original

  • East elevation facade    
  • South elevation facade    
  • Central atrium and reception viewed from first floor    
  • Atrium viewed from second floor    
  • Atrium viewed from ground floor    
  • Built in bookshelves    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second floor plan    
  • Third floor plan    
  • West section    
  • South elevation facade study and section    
  • Early sketches    
  • Materials board    
  • Axonometric bookshelve detail    
  • Atrium and staircase section    
  • Isometric staircase detail    

Civic building providing a range of services including a central library, registry office, administration and social services

Facing onto a new public square, the four-storey building, which has a limestone and glass facade, was designed to be a landmark for Crawley town centre.

Accessed from the square, the library is arranged around a bright and welcoming central atrium. Each floor cantilevers slightly over the level below, creating a gentle overhang that shelters and shades the south and west facades.

Designed for sustainability and comfort, the building has a high thermal mass, controlled daylighting, a mixed mode ventilation system and a biomass boiler. Simple methods of energy conservation such as exposed thermal mass, controlled daylighting, natural stack effect and cross ventilation are used to minimise heat gains.

The ventilation strategy, good natural lighting and the use of a biomass boiler all contributed to the achievement of a BREEAM rating of Very Good.


  • Begun: Aug 2007
  • Completed: Dec 2008
  • Floor area: 4,468m2
  • Sector: Civic
  • Total cost: £12.6M
  • Procurement: JCT Design and Build Contract 2005
  • CO2 Emissions: 12kg/m2/year
  • Address: Southgate Avenue, Crawley, RH10 6HG, United Kingdom

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