Peckham Library

Category: Museums and libraries

Peckham Library is a library and community building situated in Peckham in south-east London. It was designed by Alsop and Stormer and won the Stirling Prize for Architecture in 2000.

It is a striking building best imagined as an inverted capital letter ‘L’, with the upper part supported by thin steel pillars set at apparently random angles.

Various ‘pods’ house meeting rooms, children’s areas and the library’s Afro-Caribbean section.

The Stirling prize judges were impressed with the buildings approach. Alsop has taken the plan footprint of a conventional library and elevated it to create a public space beneath the building and to remove the quiet reading space from street level noise. The remaining, supporting buildings on the ground and 1st floors house the information and media centre.

The building attracted 500,000 visitors in its first year of opening in the wake of its receipt of the prize. This has dropped to approximately 420,000 for 2006.


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