Swan’s nest inspired design chosen as Thamesmead’s new library

PUBLISHED: 10:23 16 November 2017

Bissett Adams' design for Southmere Village library has been announced as the preferred option

Bissett Adams' design for Southmere Village library has been announced as the preferred option


The library will be built as part of the Southmere Village development

A state-of-the-art library set to serve thousands of new residents along the Thamesmead waterfront has been unveiled.

With 1,600 homes set to arrive in the town as part of the Southmere Village development, a competition was held for architects to put forward an innovative design for a library and community space.

Five designs were put to a public consultation before a judging panel had final say, with judges opting for a swan’s nest inspired design.

Architects Bisset Adams’ design has been selected and will now join a team of architects working on Southmere village - a 525 home development offering a range of housing from one-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom town houses.

Iain Johnston, director at the north London architects, said: “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.

“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.”

Southmere Village is part of the 1,600-home development of Abbey Wood and south Thamesmead, led by housing group Peabody.

John Lewis, Peabody’s executive director for Thamesmead, said: “I think this highlights the level of investment and commitment both Peabody and the London Borough of Bexley are making to Thamesmead, but more importantly it shows that this is not just about building new homes.

“This is about enhancing Thamesmead for the existing community, making a fantastic place to live, study, work and visit.”

Planning permission is expected to be submitted in the spring, with the hope the library will open its doors by 2021.

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