Canada Water Library
Client: London Borough of Southwark
Date: Completed November 2011
Value: £14.1 million
The idea of a free standing object in space is quite appropriate for a library, since it is a portal to the discovery of other worlds. As a piece of sculpture it binds together a tube station, a stretch of open water and a plaza and makes the precursor landmark of a substantial new development on London’s Canada Water.
The inverted pyramid form contains a readily accessible café, performance space, internet points and popular books within a small footprint at ground level, whilst the expanding shape above enables the containment of the main library within a single, galleried, skylit double volume. The whole is clad in aluminium sheets, anodised a light bronze with sequined perforations.
“The building celebrates its brilliant location on a new public square, next to a bus and tube station and overlooking Canada Water basin. The library is an indoor public space open to everyone, where you find wonderful things you weren’t necessarily looking for. It is a futuristic Pandora’s box of possibilities.”Piers Gough, Partner CZWG architects