RSHP’s British Library expansion plans set for approval
Councillors will decide on the proposals thet include demolishing Long & Kentish’s 16-year-old conservation centre to make way for a 12-storey office-led scheme next to the Francis Crick Institute.
The British Library Expansion project is a once in a generation transformation opportunity to extend the British Library’s site to make it the most open, creative, and innovative institution of its kind anywhere in the world.
The development is located at the heart of London’s Knowledge Quarter and will provide 100,000 sqft of Library facilities to significantly expand its outreach, education, conservation, and exhibitions programmes.
The Library accommodation is integrated with commercial uses, new headquarters for the Alan Turing Institute and Cross Rail 2 infrastructure.
The scheme will provide broad community benefits, including the creation of thousands of new jobs, training and re-skilling opportunities for local people, and a range of affordable employment premises, which will help to regenerate neighbouring communities.
The existing Library will be opened up to the northeast and southwest, creating publicly accessible routes and a series of public realm improvements, including a major new cultural foyer at street level. Extensive landscaping and most of the ground floor of the extension will be open to the public.
600,000 sq ft of commercial space to support large, medium, and small enterprises is positioned above the library facilities responding to the space demand for life science, biotech, and related medical and science-based commerce.
50% percent of the commercial premises have the possibility of being configured as wet labs with the remaining spaces suitable for write-up areas, dry or computation labs or as standard offices.
The project’s holistic sustainability strategy has driven the design process with ambitious targets using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals framework.
These targets take the environmental goals above and beyond current practice with a project ambition to reduce embodied carbon by 40%; operational energy by 60% and water use by 50% from current baseline.
BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and WELL ‘Gold’ certifications are targeted with aspirations for BREEAM ‘Outstanding’. The objectives of the project are:
Provide approximately 100,000 sq ft of new space for the British Library, including new exhibition galleries, a bespoke new learning centre and additional event spaces.
Further open up the Library with new, more informal entrances on Ossulston Street and Midland Road, and, at the heart of the extension, a new foyer to host events with local communities and businesses.
Create new outdoor green courtyards and walkways for everyone to enjoy, as well as a dedicated community garden at Ossulston Street.
Create a permanent home for The Alan Turing Institute.Source nad images Courtesy of RSHP.