Charles Holland Architects — Thornton Heath Library

Thornton Heath Library

Giving new life to a much-loved community library

This Big Lottery Funded project involved the reimagining of a public library in South London. We worked with the London Borough of Croydon, their library team and local community groups to write a successful funding application before leading the design process.

The existing building – a popular local landmark – required extensive reworking to make it an accessible, usable and functional library for the 21st century. Working with user groups and local stakeholders, we were able to redefine the library’s role to include community meeting spaces, learning rooms for schoolchildren, a reading area for parents and a children’s garden as well as a lending library.

The result transformed a down-at-heel and poorly used library into a popular, exciting and accessible community facility. A bold new entrance pavilion was added to the front of the building to serve as the library’s ‘shop-front’ as well as a new, public reading room. The pavilion also resolved the library’s access issues via a generously proportioned new entrance sequence.

Together with other additions, our modifications doubled the usable area, delivering value for money for our client and clear benefits for the local community. It also guaranteed the future of an important part of the historic context and a locally listed community asset.

Thornton Heath is a FAT project.

Charles Holland Architects — Thornton Heath Library