after being shortlisted as part of the competition for the southmere village library in londonreiulf ramstad architects has now presented its proposed scheme. as well as offering a new state-of-the-art library, the project seeks to create a new focal point that meets the ambitions of the thamesmead redevelopment. the studio proposes a library that embraces and celebrates its waterside site. a strong, formal, stepped plan of equal ‘strips’ that expand from the singular main entrance hall to a deeper plan at the water’s edge. the stepped plan maximizes the footprint between the two squares, avoiding the culvert and allowing for an uninterrupted natural line-of-sight to extend from the civic square entrance, through the building across the lake beyond.


the studio proposes a library that embraces and celebrates its waterside site
all images © reiulf ramstad architectsplaces studio

 

 

while the first floor simply repeats the ground plan, open light wells between the storeys allow the architectural experience of each ‘strip’ to be exploited by the continuous open pitched-roof ceilings. the discipline this created was carried through to the external treatment to create a rigorous building form. back of house functions are located on the south side of the building so that public facing activities could exploit framed views to the north. meanwhile, the line of water was brought to the threshold of the building in a series of shallow mirror pools that would engender the feeling of a library in a lake as well providing a defensive edge for the glazing. the children’s area is located in a single storey extension at the south-eastern end of the building with a roof terrace above screened to protect views towards staplehurst court.

designboom reiulf ramstad architects southmere village library competition london
light wells allow each ‘strip’ to be exploited by the open pitched-roof ceilings

 

 

the studio intends to combine its respect for the spirit of the southmere masterplan with the rich cultural history of london’s waterside developments. the elegant plans that were naturally flexible, clear and easily manageable, were complimented with a vision of finishes, both internal and external, that were identified as potential sources for artistic involvement. in doing so, the team had sought to activate the robust exterior with warm and welcoming interiors.

designboom reiulf ramstad architects southmere village library competition london 
the team had sought to activate the robust exterior with warm and welcoming interiors

designboom reiulf ramstad architects southmere village library competition london 
a concept sketch of the proposed library

 

 


project info:

 

name: the southmere village library
type: culture, public
location: london, united kingdom
program: library
client: peabody
commission type: invited competition
status: competition proposal
photo credits: reiulf ramstad arkitekter, places studio 

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    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.

    architecture news