Bisset Adams Wins RIBA Competition for New Library in Thamesmead, London

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© Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions © Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions

The Royal Institute of British Architects has announced London-based firm Bisset Adams as the winners of the RIBA Competition to design a new state-of-the-art library and civic space in the southeast London suburb of Thamesmead.

Selected from a shortlist that included Architecture 00, Adam Khan Architects, Keith Williams Architects and Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter, the winning proposal was lauded for its flexibility and iconic design, as well as its connection to the adjacent Southmere Lake and surrounding neighborhood. The new facility will accommodate a contemporary library, learning space, and civic spaces such as health and wellbeing programs.

© Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions © Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions

“Bisset Adams is very passionate about libraries and the important role they play in community life. Having been designing innovative libraries for two decades we are delighted to be announced as the RIBA Competition winners for Southmere Village Library,” commented

© Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions
© Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions
© Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions
© Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions
© Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions
Adams
Director Iain Johnston. 

“It’s a great opportunity to design a library at the heart of the Southmere Village regeneration project and extra special to have a site right on the edge of the lake.”

The architects describe their design as an inviting, playful series of spaces that can accommodate residents of all ages.

© Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions © Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions
© Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions © Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions

“We wanted to create a design which tells a story about the lake and the environment. It’s a truly sustainable structure constructed from CLT timber, which is left exposed to create a warm interior environment. We also wanted it to be fun. The concept was inspired by the swans nesting by the lakeside. We used the pattern of a swan’s nest as a texture for the perforated cladding of the cantilevered upper box which faces out to the lake & created a bed of reeds for screening the children's library from the main space. We hope it will be a very special place to learn, browse and study.

This is a project which is genuinely about collaboration: with the community; the library team; Peabody & the architects creating the vision for the masterplan. We are very excited to be part of this next chapter in Southmere Village.”

© Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions © Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions
© Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions © Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions
© Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions © Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions

Bisset Adams will now work as part of the Southmere village design team, led by Proctor and Matthews architects, to finalize plans for the library and submit them for planning permission. They will work closely will the community to ensure all needs are met.

The library is hoped to be completed as soon as Summer 2021.

Learn more about the Southmere Village project, here. News via RIBA Competitions.
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