Omnia mutantur, nihil interit*

*Ovid: everything changes, nothing perishes

There is currently a fascinating exhibition on the second floor of Holborn Library: Streets of Dickens: Holborn, Hampstead, St Pancras (handy to see in my lunch hour).

Susannah Charlton reports for the Twentieth Century Society that “Holborn Library is a milestone in the history of the modern public library, both as the first large, multifunctional postwar library in London and for its pioneering architecture, with an elegant facade, striking entrance canopy and influential internal planning …

….When it opened on 15 August 1960, it was hailed by the Times Educational Supplement as “a bold and imaginative response to the problems of planning a modern central library”, and was compared favourably with the more traditional Kensington Public Library by both Design magazine and the Library Association Record, among much other positive coverage.

…As English Heritage pointed out in their listing report, Holborn Library is “celebrated as an exemplar by architects and librarians alike.” “.

In Studio Egret West’s current proposal for the redevelopment of the library:

“…96 homes at the heart of the Bloomsbury Conservation Area…are designed as an integral part of this mixed use development, sharing in and contributing to the overall character of the cluster of new buildings…Cockpit Yard becomes a dynamic multilayered street with homes cohabiting the street with artists’ studios (with) a variety of building forms and materials and interjecting into John’s Mews to enhance its character as a diverse London Mews Street.”.

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