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McAslan completes £2m Camberwell Library

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John McAslan + Partners has taken the wraps off this new library at Camberwell Green in south London 


The £2 million scheme sits on vacant council-owned land next to Camberwell Green and Camberwell Magistrates Court. 

The library features three main elements: an entrance space, a pedestrian spine and the forecourt in front of the court. 

The main entrance is characterised by large windows with deep reveals that provide a seating area. 

Inside the 804m2 building is a children’s library on the ground floor, and on the mezzanine level above are staff areas and a quiet study space. 

The first floor, which is connected by an American oak staircase, contains meeting rooms. 

Hannah Lawson, project director at John McAslan + Partners, commented: ’Our design responds to the new library’s pivotal location on Camberwell Green, optimising views both into and out of the building. The newly created public realm provides a prominent civic setting for the new building and will be a dynamic focal point for the local community.’ 

Camberwell Library by John McAslan + Partners

Camberwell Library by John McAslan + Partners

Source: Edmund Sumner

Project data 

Location Camberwell, south London
Type of project library
Client London Borough of Southwark
Architect John McAslan + Partners
Landscape architect John McAslan + Partners
Engineer Haskin Robinson Waters
Contractor Balfour Beatty
Services consultant Elementa Consulting
Sustainability consultant Elementa Consulting
Acoustic engineer RBA Acoustics
Area 804m2
Dates 2012-2015
Value £2 million

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Generally a great space and well used by the local community, especially through various toddler playgroups. However, huge shame that the desk spaces on the 1F are not behind some sort of acoustic barrier. Quiet study and reading are almost impossible in this library. As someone who has tried to study in this library on numerous occasions, I would love to know why the architects didn't think this was a priority.

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