Canada Water Library by CZWG

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Canada Water Library by CZWG

Architects CZWG have completed a bronzed, hexagonal library that leans across a dock in south London.

Canada Water Library by CZWG

Situated beside a public square in the area of Canada Water, the four-storey building has a perforated facade of anodised aluminium and a green sedum roof.

Canada Water Library by CZWG

The two-storey-high library is located at the top of the building, surrounded by an overlooking mezzanine providing study areas.

Canada Water Library by CZWG

Rows of skylights let daylight illuminate the zigzagging bookshelves and a central staircase thats spirals down to the floors below.

Canada Water Library by CZWG

On the ground floor are a performance space seating 150 spectators and a cafe, while community meeting rooms and offices occupy the first floor.

Canada Water Library by CZWG

CZWG also recently completed a Maggie’s Centre for cancer care in Nottingham – see pictures of it here and here.

Canada Water Library by CZWG

Photography is by Tim Crocker.

Here's some more information from CZWG:


Canada Water Library, Southwark

In response to Southwark Councils brief, CZWG’s key challenge was to design a space which would accommodate the distinctly different requirements of the main users groups - adults, children and young persons in a building where the floor area required for the library space was far larger than the available footprint for the building on the given site.

Canada Water Library by CZWG

The design of the new library needed to avoid multiple levels which would have cut off the interaction between the different user groups and also demanded a higher level of staff to service the library. CZWG’s solution to this problem was to create an inverted pyramid for the overall form of the building.

Canada-Water-Library-by-CZWG

Besides allowing for the main library space to be on one floor – this design solution also positively responded to other design considerations such as minimising solar impact on the south elevation which needed big windows to enjoy the views over Canada Water basin.

Canada Water Library by CZWG

The diagonal wall also reduced the external envelope area (the diagonal wall is less than the sum of a vertical wall and a horizontal soffit) and also catering for the requirement for raked seating in the community performance space.

Canada-Water-Library-by-CZWG

The design keeps the uses on the ground floor to the necessary and welcoming ones, so as to minimise the footprint of the building for the benefit of the surrounding public space, the plaza and views, particularly of Canada Water Basin.

Canada Water Library by CZWG

A public plaza space is proposed to the north of the library enclosed to its north and east by buildings with residential upper floors above commercial space at ground floor.

Canada Water Library by CZWG

There are opportunities to provide active frontage to the plaza; create a “fifth elevation” on the roof which will be visible from surrounding developments and incorporate a green roof.

Canada Water Library by CZWG

Shops and cafés spill out onto the plaza from both these buildings and the library encouraging short visits and interactions with the library other than to go to study.

Canada Water Library by CZWG

The library will sit at the edge of a new civic plaza which has been designed to allow for a farmers market, large TV screenings, festivals and a host of other events and activities.

Canada Water Library by CZWG

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Together they will form part of a dynamic new town centre for Canada Water, which includes approximately 900 new homes, new retail and public space.

Canada Water Library by CZWG

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The building is clad in aluminum sheets that are anodised in a light bronze with sequined perforations, giving it sculptural appeal and striking visual effects. The library also has excellent green credentials, with a ground source heat pump, grey water harvesting and a green sedum roof.

Canada Water Library by CZWG

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From the double height atrium, a timber-lined central spiral staircase travels up to the expanding shape above which is the library floor. On the library floor level the Children’s and Young Adults areas have been designed to ensure a flexible layout space to cater for multi-use activities.

Canada-Water-Library-by-CZWG

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There will be designated areas for study and contemporary methods of learning will be incorporated throughout the building including free Wi-Fi access.In addition to the study facilities there are meeting rooms for hire.

Canada Water Library by CZWG

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At ground floor level the café space will encourage people to enter the building from the plaza to discover all the facilities the library has on offer - they may participate or enjoy an event, attend a reading group, check their emails, browse the new books or have a quiet time with a coffee and a daily paper.

Canada Water Library by CZWG

Click above for larger image

Project name: Canada Water Library, Southwark
Client: Southwark Council
Address: Canada Water, Southwark, SE16 2YS
Status: Completed
Construction Start: Summer 2009
Completion: November 2011
Construction Cost: £14.1m
Area: 2,900 m2
Contract Type: GC/Works/1 With Quantities (Traditional)

  • Donkey

    People still use libraries?

  • Slater

    Does it bother anyone else that the hand rail transitions from below to above the guard rail and then back below at landings? I think I'd have detailed that differently myself.

  • nitchy14

    color and shape are not for me. I love the stairs.

  • jordan

    Finally some good architectural drawings on dezeen.

  • alex

    Love the staircase – that's what the stair in the Museum of Liverpool could have been! I agree with the 'object in space' approach to the design – it's an unfamiliar shape that takes us to other worlds…

  • Michael

    Awful 'look-at-me' architecture that gives us all a bad name. Some buildings (most) need to sit back with a bit of humility and provide a backdrop for the more important goings-on of everyday life. This arrogant, one-liner (not to mention fashion victim) is today's curiosity and tomorrow's eyesore. It doesn't even look especially well put together externally (is it a sculpted form or a panelled facade? An inappropriate system for the form in my opinion).
    Internally palatable with some nice touches but still hampered by a plan which seems like an exercise in shape-making.
    On the whole though I'm too offended and insulted by the fact that somebody has inflicted this on me/society that I'm struggling to say anything nice about it.

  • http://twitter.com/chueva @chueva

    just near my house need to go soon :)

  • Chris

    The interior's great, apart from that god-awful carpet. Outside façade just looks like someone drew a random shape in frustration and the drafters interpreted it as the design…

  • Mary

    Hi Michael,
    I wont try to convince you,(not that much anyway) as I recognise the phrases you use and as such I know how deeply others have ingrained their ideas in your head.
    Your probably too young to fully understand how little value these theories of what a building should be really matter whe you take a wider perspect on life.
    enjoy life and just let things be, and think about the origin of your thoughts.

    • Hall

      Meeeooow Mary!!
      Did you design it?!

  • Michael

    Mary
    Sorry that I appear to have offended you. I wish I was as young as you think I am! None-the-less, I'd be interested to hear you develop your argument, well…into an argument. Since I'm obviously ignorant and impressionable it should be fairly easy to change my mind!
    Today I think perhaps it looks like a prison ship….

  • Vinoir

    Mary, Piers Gough Is an awful self important architect imposing his trashy las Vegas one liners on us. This po mo shouty architecture is like the drunk in the street who ruins our walk to the shops.

    Your patronising tone suggests we need this in our lives…we don't. On the upside this is one of his least worse creations!

  • turtle

    The point is not whether it’s relevant now but how dreadful will it be in 50 years! So much architecture done 50 years ago is now looking awful. can we not learn our lesson!