AWW Architects AWW Architects

Plympton Library

Plympton Library

LABC South West Regional Building Excellence Award 2012 – Shortlisted

Procured as a design and build contract, with the design team novated to the preferred contractor. AWW originally designed and received planning permission to develop a mixed Health Centre and Library for Plympton near Plymouth after the previous library was destroyed in a devastating fire in 2008. Following uncertainty within the NHS and local Primary Care Trust, the library was pursued as a stand alone building. The single storey building utilises large expanses of glazing to provide an active facade and an open plan voluminous space within.

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. The building was completed in 2012 and received 20,000 visitors within two months of opening.


Fifteen percent of the energy used by the building comes from a renewable source i.e. natural ventilation units and roof mounted photovoltaics. The building also utilises high levels of natural daylight assisted by reflective internal surfaces, solar shading and has under floor heating. The building has achieved an A+ energy performance rating.

 “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.”

Ian Sanders

Project Specification

Plympton, Plymouth
Ian Sanders
Fred Lethbridge, Stannator of Plymouth