The Royal Institute of British Architects has declared London-based architecture firm Bisset Adams winners of the RIBA contest for designing a new library and a public space in Thamesmead district, South of London.

Bisset Adams was chosen from a shortlist which comprised practices like Adam Khan Architects, Architecture 00, Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter, and Keith Williams Architects.

The proposal of the winning firm was praised for its incredible design and flexibility, in addition to its integration with the surrounding area and the nearby Southmere Lake. The project will include a library, learning areas, and public spaces that will host programs involving health and welfare.

Image via Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions

Bisset Adams is very passionate about libraries and the important role they play in community life. Having been designing innovative libraries for two decades we are delighted to be announced as the RIBA Competition winners for Southmere Village Library,” explained the Director of Bisset Adams, Iain Johnston.

“It’s a great opportunity to design a library at the heart of the Southmere Village regeneration project and extra special to have a site right on the edge of the lake.”

The designers see the project as an interesting hospitable cultural venue which can receive visitors of different age groups.

Image via Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions

We wanted to create a design which tells a story about the lake and the environment. It’s a truly sustainable structure constructed from CLT timber, which is left exposed to create a warm interior environment. We also wanted it to be fun. The concept was inspired by the swans nesting by the lakeside. We used the pattern of a swan’s nest as a texture for the perforated cladding of the cantilevered upper box which faces out to the lake & created a bed of reeds for screening the children’s library from the main space. We hope it will be a very special place to learn, browse and study,” explained the architects.
“This is a project which is genuinely about collaboration: with the community; the library team; Peabody & the architects creating the vision for the masterplan. We are very excited to be part of this next chapter in Southmere Village.”

Image via Bisset Adams. Courtesy of RIBA Competitions

The design team of the Southmere village, which will be headed by Proctor and Matthews Architects, will now include Bisset Adams as well. The team will be finishing up the library plans to submit them for obtaining a construction permit.

The project is expected to be complete in 2021.

Check out the following link to find out more about the project here

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