“Libraries are the most important public buildings”*

*architect Francine Houben of Dutch studio Mecanoo

The website of Lambeth Palace Library announces:

“The new Lambeth Palace Library is nearly finished! Here is the final time lapse video of it being built.

The video was created using time lapse images taken between May 2018 and December 2019. They are available here.”

In April 2017, Harriet Sherwood reported for The Guardian on the granting of planning permission for a new library at Lambeth Palace, the first new building at the historic site for 200 years:

“…The collection of historic manuscripts and books dating back to the ninth century will be stored in highly advanced archives.

“It includes books and manuscripts collected by archbishops down the centuries, and the modern collection is the archive of the Church of England,” said Declan Kelly, director of libraries and archives at Lambeth Palace.

“There are maps and books, even a book on mathematics written by one archbishop. It covers periods of great religious turmoil across Europe and really important parts of this country’s history.”…

Anna Winston reported for Dezeen architecture, interiors and design magazine (9.9.16):

“…Wright & Wright won a competition in 2015 to design the new building, and unveiled its plans this week”…”This commission is ‘such stuff as dreams are made on’,” said Clare Wright, co-founder of Wright & Wright.

Wright & Wright was founded in 1994 by Sandy and Clare Wright. It is known for its public buildings, libraries and galleries, and has completed a number of projects on sensitive historic sites around the UK, including the addition of a new library to Corpus Christi College in Cambridge.

The firm was appointed in 2016 to design an extension to the Geffrye Museum in east London, after a controversial scheme by David Chipperfield was scrapped.”

On 29.8.13, Amy Frearson posted on the Dezeen site:

Interview: after completing Europe’s largest public library in Birmingham, architect Francine Houben of Dutch studio Mecanoo spoke to Dezeen about the role of the library in the digital age and claims libraries are as central to society as cathedrals once were.

(Below is one of the questions with Houben’s response.)

AF: Why did you choose to include so many circular motifs and round spaces?

FH: I think that it’s something that happened quite intuitively, as I realised it was very much about rotundas. We started with this sequence of rotundas. What happens if we connect rotundas with escalators through a building as a journey? At the end you would see the sky, the stars. And it would be all connected.”.


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