Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre, Greater Manchester

Exterior view of Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre
Project Information
  • Client: Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Principal designer: Pringle Richards Sharratt
  • Principal engineer: Arup
  • Principal contractor: Kier North West
  • Contract value: £12 million

About the project

Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre bring together children's, adult and reference libraries, as well as a performance space, IT-intensive teaching rooms, art rooms and a crèche. Adjoining Gallery Oldham, it is the second phase of the new cultural quarter in Oldham, breathing new life into a previously neglected part of the town.

The design of the library succeeds in making learning, art, reading and performance accessible to the whole community. It is a strong symbol of multicultural learning, integrating community facilities with the library service.  Proof of its success is in the sharp rise in visitors - more than double the number to the old library - since its opening in 2006. As well as meeting current needs, it provides for flexibility and expansion.

The building relies predominantly on natural ventilation and light, minimising energy consumption. Rainwater from the green roof is collected, treated, stored in tanks in the basement area and used to flush toilets throughout the building which significantly reduces mains water usage. It has achieved a 'very good' BREEAM rating.

The judges said: 'Designed and built to last and a focus for the community'

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