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Liverpool 'mega-library' set to win green light

Austin-Smith:Lord’s plans to overhaul Liverpool’s Central Library are expected to be given the go-ahead tomorrow (12 January).

City councillors are being recommended to approve the plans for a £50 million ‘mega-library,’ which will update earlier developments from the 1850s and 1950s.

In a report to the planning committee, officers said: ‘The proposed works to the historic fabric of the buildings are considered to be entirely appropriate to this important civic building.

‘The new build elements – including the new atrium and domed roof light and new building elevations to the rear – relate well to the surrounding buildings and general area and will be of sufficiently high quality to ensure it contributes positively to the William Brown Street Conservation Area and World Heritage Site.’

Austin-Smith:Lord’s proposal comprises the renovation of the existing Grade-II listed Central Library, which has fallen into disrepair in recent decades. The refurbishment will feature a new main entrance, improved street and internal accessibility, a new rooftop atrium and terrace, light wells at the front and rear for natural daylighting plus re-opened conservation facilities.

The 1850s facade and celebrated Picton, Hornby and Oak reading rooms will also be restored.

Alongside the more traditional library functions, the development promises to house the 14km of archives and 800 years of historic documents at the Liverpool Record Office in a purpose-built climate controlled storage.

Councillors will vote on the proposals tomorrow (12 January). A planning application was submitted on 23 November 2009 and the project is planned to start on site in Liverpool in June 2010.

 

Previous story (09.11.09)

Central Library, Liverpool by Austin-Smith:Lord

[FIRST LOOK] This is the new £50m ‘mega-library’ for Liverpool, which will update earlier developments from the 1850s and 1950s

Austin-Smith:Lord’s proposal includes the renovation of the existing Grade II-listed Central Library, which has fallen into disrepair in recent decades. The new £50m ‘mega-library’ will feature a new main entrance, improved street and internal accessibility, a new rooftop atrium and terrace, light wells at the front and rear for natural daylighting plus re-opened conservation facilities.

The 1850s facade and celebrated Picton, Hornby and Oak reading rooms will also be restored.

Warren Bradley, Liverpool council leader said: ‘This is the biggest ever single investment in the city’s library service and will create a stunning building the whole city can be proud of.

‘It will transform Central Library into a place where reading and learning is exciting and stimulating’

‘It will transform Central Library into a place where reading and learning is exciting and stimulating, and provide a new home for books, which will remain at the heart of the service.’

Alongside the more traditional library functions, the development promises to house the 14km of archives and 800 years of historic documents at the Liverpool Record Office in a purpose-built climate controlled storage.

Joyce Little, Head of Liverpool’s Libraries and Information Service, said ‘The two redevelopments that took place after the Second World War do not fit together very well and it is hard for people to find their way around the building.

‘This much-needed scheme gives us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the building into one of the best libraries in the country.

‘I am delighted with the quality of the successful bid, and we are now preparing in earnest to empty the building and move the project forward.’

A planning application is due for submission on 23 November 2009 and the project is planned to start on site in Liverpool in June 2010.

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