east london's lea bridge library receives contemporary extension by studio weave

east london's lea bridge library receives contemporary extension by studio weave

a modern extension for an historic library

 

English architecture practice Studio Weave presents the newly completed extension of the East London‘s Lea Bridge Library. The project introduces a café and adaptable community center with a rhythmic timber interior. The space opens out toward the library’s gardens, taking shape as a new heart for the Waltham Forest Borough.

 

The design team notes that the neighborhood is currently undergoing a period of cultural growth and regeneration. Thus, the library extension provides a link to the community’s past and its future, exploring the changing role of the typology in the contemporary era by integrating a place to work, learn and socialize.

lea bridge library londonimages © Jim Stephenson @clickclickjim

 

 

the sensitive intervention by studio weave

 

Studio Weave’s new wing is sited to the rear of the Lea Bridge Library’s existing Edwardian red brick structure. Covering 250 square meters, the extension is designed to lightly touch the existing heritage building and its green space known as Friendship Gardens. The architects make use of the existing western garden wall as a structural spine, anchoring the structure and bulk of the building to one side, ensuring a seamless, open connection to the gardens.

 

Cantilevered beams of high strength laminated veneer lumber (LVL) support a length of overhead glazing and floating ceiling of timber battens. Floor to ceiling glazing along the entire east elevation invites the outdoors in, creating a visual and physical connection to Friendship Gardens.

lea bridge library london

 

 

a timber interior punctuated by curving glass

 

Studio Weave carefully organizes its Lea Bridge Library extension to sit harmoniously among the existing trees of the Friendship Gardens. The new construction takes shape with a rectangular floor plan punctuated by a large, semi-circular glass cut out. The pavilion curves in and steps up at a central pinch point to protect the root system of a close-neighboring mature Common Lime tree.

 

The sweeping concave glass creates a momentary squeeze in the plan, a moment which serves to divide the pavilion. A pivoting timber door hangs flush with wall joinery and swings across to create a flexible private events space, offering a valuable community asset while also future proofing a further revenue stream for the library.

 

A long colonnade stretches the length of the new extension, featuring a gently graded natural stone walkway to ensure level access to the rear event space. A facade of gently zig-zagging red precast concrete panels and columns nod to the tone of the brick used in the existing library, and conceal drainage which captures and redirects water down to the tree roots below the building.

lea bridge library london

 

 

an accessible interior

 

The architects prioritize accessibility in the design, including two new points of access to draw visitors in through the gardens at the side and rear of the site, bypassing the library’s quiet zone. The main entrance and foyer on Lea Bridge Road has been refurbished to include new wash facilities, buggy parking and an upstairs staff room.

 

From the foyer, the new cafe welcomes visitors before opening into the main space. A continuous wall of fluted timber joinery connects bookshelves with in-built banquette seating, creating interspersed open reading ‘rooms’. The open plan layout can be adapted for a range of cultural, recreational and community activities and be used at different times of day by different local groups and library users.

lea bridge library london

 

 

The architects’ rigorous approach to sustainability is felt throughout the building. Studio Weave has delicately balanced a light, open plan community space that benefits from a considered passive cooling strategy supported by mechanical heat recovery ventilation (MVHR). The ceiling is carefully positioned to protect the exposed aggregate floor from direct sunlight, and the continuous glass wall opens at intervals to allow for natural cross ventilation.

lea bridge library london

 

 

the reused material palette

 

Reuse is a strong theme throughout the extension. All interior joinery and furniture timber is built with timber salvaged from trees felled across London’s publicly owned streets and parks. With this strategy of reuse, the team aims to reduce the carbon footprint of the pavilion and reuse existing waste materials. The species of trees salvaged include London plane, Poplar, Sycamore, Ash, Holm Oak, Turkey Oak, Sequoia, Horse Chestnut and more, and add a rich variety of textures and tones to the custom designed fitted and loose furniture.

 

Studio Weave worked closely with local furniture maker Sebastian Cox, designing an in-built banquette with fluted timber shelving that stretches along the pavilion, reinforcing the link to the library while creating a natural visual language which is echoed by the trees outside in Friendship Gardens. Sebastian Cox also designed custom tables, chairs and sofas for the new space, all crafted from 25 cubic meters of waste timber.

lea-bridge-library-studio-weave-community-centre-designboom-06a

a large, semi-circular glass wall creates a momentary squeeze in the plan

lea bridge library london
a wall of fluted timber joinery connects bookshelves with in-built seating, creating interspersed open reading ‘rooms’

lea-bridge-library-studio-weave-community-centre-designboom-08a

the new construction lightly touches the brick heritage building

 

1/12
east london’s lea bridge library receives contemporary extension by studio weave
 
east london’s lea bridge library receives contemporary extension by studio weave
 
east london’s lea bridge library receives contemporary extension by studio weave
 
east london’s lea bridge library receives contemporary extension by studio weave
 
ground floor plan
ground floor plan
first floor plan
first floor plan
elevations
elevations
elevations
elevations
sections
sections
sections
sections
area plan
area plan
detail
detail

project info:

 

project title: Lea Bridge Library

architecture: Studio Weave @studioweave

location: East London, United Kingdom

photography: © Jim Stephenson @clickclickjim

ARCHITECTURE IN LONDON (218)

ARCHITECTURE IN THE UK (387)

LIBRARY ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN (237)

WOOD AND TIMBER ARCHITECTURE (552)

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

designboom will always be there for you

milan, new york, beijing, tokyo,  since 1999
X
5