First look at what Exeter Central Library could look like following £4.1m revamp
Posted on: 2 August 2012
Residents in Exeter will have a first chance to see what their flagship city library could look like in the future as Devon County Council release a series of artist’s impressions of the planned multi-million pound revamp.
The images, which have been create from initial concept designs, show how the front of the building could look and reveal a new open plan entrance area leading right through to the back of the library where it will open out onto Rougemont Gardens, as well as how the interior spaces could work, and the location of a new lift.
“I’m pleased we are able to share these images of what the library could look like. Its interesting to see how the open plan space could work, and where services within the building could be located, as well as how the design links the building to the rest of the city centre area.
“We have listened carefully to the views of our residents, and have produced an initial design that would meet changing local needs by maximising the use of space in the building, and making it as flexible as possible so it could accommodate a range of activities and services that young people, their families and the local community need.
“Our next step is to meet with residents and key groups about these initial designs so that the best possible decisions are made to benefit the community and together we make sure we create a magnificent local landmark that will be used to its full potential.
“Further consultation is planned for after the summer, and is an important opportunity for us to get some feedback on these initial designs and for people to influence the next phase including the interior design as well as see what has been going on behind the scenes and find out about timescales for the rest of the project.”
The initial concept designs have been drawn up following extensive consultation with residents, library staff, local schoolchildren, families and other key community groups such as people with disabilities.
The collected views, and data on which services the library currently offers are most popular and how often people visit, have been used to create the plans which include a new passenger lift near the main entrance, revamped meeting and performance spaces as well as improved spaces for learning and study along with upgraded toilets. The latest environmental controls and relevant sustainability features will also be introduced to address some of the issues the building has with being cold in the winter and too hot in the summer.
An additional entrance to the library from Rougemont Gardens will also be created as part of the redevelopment so Devon’s flagship library has better connections with the city’s Cultural Quarter with the Museum, Phoenix Arts Centre and Exeter Castle.
Relevant planning permissions are being sought, so building work could begin as early as January 2013, and it is anticipated the new library would open in early 2014.
During the construction period, an interim library will be made available in the adjacent Castle Street building. Although smaller, the building is ideally located and offers best value for money while continuing to offer a range of library services in the city centre. The Stack at Exeter Central Library, which is used to store old stock, will not move across to the temporary library, it will be sealed during the redevelopment to protect the materials.
The premises will become vacant when the Council’s Registration Service relocates to the Civic Centre and Larkbeare House and The Westcountry Studies Library, becomes part of the flagship Devon Heritage Centre along with the Devon Record Office based at Great Moor House in Sowton. The first phase of creating this new Heritage Centre will be achieved later this year with the relocation of the Westcountry Studies Library’s Reading Room to the Public Search Room of the existing Devon Record Office.
Have your say!
Consultation events are planned for the first week in September. Residents can continue to help shape plans for their new-look library and follow the project’s development online at www.devon.gov.uk/ecldevelop. Comments questions and suggestion are welcome, and should be directed to the Community Involvement Co-ordinator by calling 01392 384315, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to Exeter Central Library project, Devon Libraries, Great Moor House, Bittern Road, Sowton, Exeter, EX2 7NLPosted in: Community