The Library at Willesden Green

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, London, 2015

 

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The scheme marries old and new 

Timothy Soar     Download Original

  • The scheme marries old and new    
  • Bricks are hand-set, supported on continuous perimeter shelf-angles at each floor level     
  • The mural connecting the old and new elements of the building    
  • The solid elements between the glazing are highly patterned in a traditional English bond palette sampled from Victorian buildings along the High Road    
  • The library serves as a civic landmark    
  • Mural detail    
  • Bold signage guides visitors through the new building    
  • The space is neutral and open    
  • Exposed in-situ reinforced concrete is the predominant material for the circulation    
  • View of the atrium    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second floor plan    
  • Third floor plan    
  • Facade section and elevation    
  • Brickwork detailing    

The architect’s approach to the scheme was to reinstate the historic form of the original 1894 library that consisted of two street-facing wings parallel to the main frontages and placing the entrance to the building at the apex of the site.

The three-storey east and west elevations are expressed as horizontal bands of white glazed brick with varying proportions of glazing at each floor responding directly to changes in use within the building. The solid elements between the glazing are highly patterned in a traditional English bond palette sampled from Victorian buildings along the High Road as well as the retained old library.

At the centre of the new building is a dramatic atrium, visually connecting all of the internal uses and delivering natural daylight and ventilation into the plan. As a key element of the design, the brickwork detailing of the polychromatic patterned panels was carefully considered. The panels use a contemporary, playful interpretation of the traditional English bond found in the Old Library and nearby Victorian architecture. Bricks are hand-set, supported on continuous perimeter shelf-angles at each floor level and tied back to a steel framing system.

A key ambition for the project was to provide a highly energy-efficient building using natural ventilation as a primary source of cooling. This is achieved with operable vents in the facade. Rooflights draw air into the building and out through the central atrium space using both assisted and passive airflows.

Data

  • Begun: Jun 2013
  • Completed: Sep 2015
  • Floor area: 4,633m2
  • Sectors: Civic, Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £10.5M
  • Procurement: Design & Build
  • CO2 Emissions: 13.9kg/m2/year
  • Address: 95 High Rd, London, NW10 2SF, United Kingdom

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