Austin-Smith: Lord has overseen the removal of a series of 1950’s and 70’s buildings no longer fit for purpose, leading to the insertion, behind the listed façade, of a new library building. These new spaces are clear in their organisation and set around an impressive central atrium. Enrolments at the library are up and it has become a visitor attraction in its own right.
One of the greatest achievements by Austin-Smith: Lord is to make the Picton Reading Room, Hornby Room and Oak Room both fully accessible to the public and linked back into the main central atrium space of the new library. Following historic research and specialist paint analysis, the rooms have been carefully and lavishly restored back to their original conditio,n but now playing a key part in the daily life of the new library. This careful restoration has continued externally where the Picton Reading Room has been expertly restored.
The Picton Library underneath the reading room has been opened up to the public for the first time, providing younger readers with their own special space that further increases the offer of this truly modern library.