Prime Minister's Award Winner 2003: Bournemouth Library

Read the press release announcing the 2003 winner of the Prime Minister's Award

About the Project

Project Information
  • Principal designer: Building Design Partnership
  • Client: Bournemouth Borough Council
  • Principal contractor: Henry Jones (Kier Regional)
  • Contract value: £9.5 million
Bournemouth Library

This contemporary structure has provided a new 'public living room' for the residents of Bournemouth. Its architecture exudes an air of informality.

Bournemouth Library north-facing elevationThe fully glazed north facing elevation opens the library interior to the street, inviting people in as well as enabling people to look out. Glass roof panels and south westerly facing windows allow light to flood into the library spaces, reducing the need for artificial lighting and cooling and thereby ensuring that energy costs are minimized.

Bournemouth Library interior

The internal layout is designed in such a way that the public can move easily between activities.

Built on a former derelict site, the library has seen a threefold increase in visitor numbers since it opened, with more than 3,500 people visiting during its first Saturday of operation.

Bournemouth Library interiorThe library was financed via the Private Finance Initiative, and its success is due to the commitment of the borough council, developer, contractor and design team to provide the best possible library for the people of Bournemouth.

The judges said:

"At night, an airy atmosphere is created in a robust piece of architecture"

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