It’s been 3 and a half years since fire devastated the old library in Plympton, Devon.
And tomorrow like a phoenix from the ashes the doors open to a new chapter in the town’s history.
The new building is 50% larger than the old one and makes the most of clean lines and open aesthetics to create a large airy space designed to welcome visitors into the building.
The brief was to fill “the void in the community” and its opening to coincide with National Libraries Day secures its place at the heart of the community for young and not so young alike.
Ian Sanders from architects AWW said, “It was essential to us to design a building that the people of Plympton could take pride in. The solar panels and the energy efficiency mean that this building will be able to support the needs of the Plympton community for generations to come.”
27,000 books were destroyed in the 2004 fire, along with some “irreplaceable” historic pamphlets and photos.
Councillor Glenn Jordan, Cabinet Member for Community Services (Safer and Stronger Communities and Leisure, Culture and Sport), said: “We are really excited to be finally opening Plympton’s new library and welcoming our first customers through the door. The local community were devastated to lose their old library and we know how much they have been looking forward to this day. We’d like to thank everyone for being so patient while we’ve worked to provide this fantastic new facility.”
The single storey building provides ease of access for the general public, and utilises large expanses of glazing provide an active façade through which the public are offered glimpses and views of the bright, voluminous open plan space within, which ascends upward into the tall roof peak. All of which aim to encourage and invite any user or visitor toward and into the building.
To create a light and open aesthetic the roof structure was designed to conceal the structure behind the internal linings creating a sharp and clean surface, but creating intrigue and features through the exposure of simple stainless steel tie rods.
The library has been nominated for an LABC award.