CLIENT London Borough of Southwark
SIZE 2,300 m2
2000 RIBA Stirling Prize, Building of the Year
2001 AIA London Chapter Award, Best Building
2001 Civic Trust Award
2001 BCIA Award
Peckham Library won Britain's most celebrated architectural
award, the Stirling Prize, in November 2000.
The brief called for a building of architectural merit which would
bring prestige to the borough and engender a sense of
ownership and pride for the building by local people. Will Alsop
created a building of unique appearance which satisfied both
criteria, comprising innovatory solutions to design problems,
creating working, archive and meeting spaces of genuine
delight and stimulating appearance.
Suspending the main reading room on a cantilevered plane allowed
the creation of a new public space below the soffit. Within this
room, 'pods' contain meeting rooms and independent collections,
with workstations clustered below.
The brief included a children's library and a range of adult
learning facilities. The centre pod opens to the
clerestory, allowing daylight to enter the main space while
the 'beret' above affords shade. The library was conceived
with sustainability in mind and has natural lighting and
ventilation systems which significantly diminish the
building's energy requirements.