JUBILEE LIBRARY, BRIGHTON Brighton's Jubilee Library is a distinctive, beautiful, calm, contemporary, low-energy and yet low-cost building that has emerged from a PFI project that had an extended and complex pre-construction gestation. The concept dates back to the winning design from a competition held in 1991. 'Everyone said it was too modern, ' says Rab Bennetts. Later, when three designs were put on display, public opinion of the project was very high. The architect was encouraged by a defined brief that eventually led to the present project, in which the library is the first element in the regeneration of a neglected area of Brighton.
As it developed into a privately financed project Bennetts said the vital thing for him was 'to retain the big idea and be an advocate of the idea'.
The building and planned adjacent structures and spaces are set to fit Brighton's street pattern of lanes and 'twitten' cross alleys. Jubilee Library has two rows of tree-like concrete columns supporting its central floor plate structure, which is separated from the perimeter by bridges. The open well around the main central library floors provides a path for natural ventilation via wind towers on the roof. It also brings sunlight into the heart of the building with 'shafts of light which constantly change as the sun moves across the glazed facade and roof lights'.
For projects valued between £3 million and £50 million. Sponsored by Corus THE TEAM Client Brighton & Hove council Cost £8.115 million Principal designer Bennetts Associates Architects with Lomax Cassidy & Edwards Structural and civil engineer SKM Anthony Hunt Contractor Rok Other firms Fulcrum Consulting (services engineer); Jeremy Gardner Associates (fi re engineering)