LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
‘to create a building of architectural merit
that will bring prestige and psychological
boost to southwark .’
IT was designed to be striking, to
make people curious about what lies
inside, and to challenge the
traditional view of libraries as staid
and serious environments.
• Peckham has traditionally suffered from high levels of
unemployment and crime rates.
• gang violence is common here
• Therefore the front façade is covered by pre-patina copper
plates to rampart against violence and degradation coming
from the district
• ethnically diverse: Black African - 35.67%, White British -
25.73% and Black Caribbean - 15.45%.
• it is in total contrast with the mood of the outside life which
is stressful, noisy and violent. Between its walls, Peckham
Library recreates a new society for people who could wish
to escape from the grey world they are living into.
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Peckham Fitness center
• the architect wanted to create a building big enough to welcome a
library and few offices, without looking too massive and heavy.
The solution he found, was to raise up a part of the structure, so
as to keep less contact with the ground as possible.
• This modification gives us a feeling of lightness, and in spite of this
modification, there is no loose of space, its transformed in a
covered external space, keeping the aim of the building.
• The north face of the building is completely glazed with a
grid of clear and vividly colored glass, This provides an
excellent combination of natural light and colored tinted
light within the library spaces making it lively.
• The glass used is in contrast with the opaque metal used
at the other side.
• It offers a unique and colorful view of London
• When exposed to the
atmosphere, copper oxide
film forms, changing the
surface colour of copper
from salmon pink to light
• aesthetically, it clearly
makes the building stand
• The cooper facade used
as a protection against the
violence of Peckham
(EAST, SOUTH, WEST FAÇADE AND ROOF)
COLORED GLASS (NORTH FASCADE)
There is a contrast between the exterior
The exterior is more rough and bold with
materials like copper, Stone, steel,
concrete, glass, iron while the interior is
more warm, smooth and welcoming .
There is an element of surprise
• The most obvious structural feature of the building is the large
overhang which is supported by 6 thin, slanted metal columns giving
it a dynamic and destructed aspect.
• Viewers are perturbed by the shape as the notion of such a large
load being supported on such small beams makes the structure
visually unstable and therefore makes the viewer uneasy but
• Under the big over hang created
by the l shape of the
building, there is a metal
structure, made of wire netting
• It gives the area a dynamic
aspect caused by the blended
Wire netting (structure)
• comfortable chairs placed in
clusters throughout the
space, inviting you to sit
down and become invested
in a book.
• So within the public
space, there are small
pockets of very personal
space, changing as one
person stops reading and
another one begins.
• These pockets are mostly
under the pods and around
• One can easily associate
them to big wooden huts or
ancient inuit canoes.
1 2 3
4th floor section
1- children’s room
2- afro-caribbean library
3- meeting room
• The central pod has a
skylight, you ascend into it
through a spiral staircase
• light becomes another
material separating the area
from the rest of the library.
• The ceiling contains cut-outs
and niches to make the space
airy and light.
• From the exterior, the
windows and skylights appear
randomly placed. But once
inside the reading space, you
can see the natural lighting
was really calculated. Light
falls into the space from
around the pods and around
the perimeter of the dropped
ceiling. What a novelty to read
and work by natural light!
• The walls are painted a
creamy white, with light
seeping in around the edges
of the ceiling through a gap
between the ceiling and the
• The glass facade allows in natural sunlight, reducing the need for artificial light.
• The structure is designed to allow for maximum air circulation to reduce heating and cooling costs. The cheeky beret cap on the
roof cools and shades the ventilation shaft. The ceiling contains cut-outs and niches to make the space airy and light.
• There is a lot of green spaces around Peckham library, contrasting with the urban mood.
• The oxided copper does not need any chemical products to maintain the surface
• The glass façade has multiple layers keeping the heat inside the building
Red carpet and white walls, makes it warm and welcoming
The library certainly did contribute to the regeneration of the area. The pre-patinated
copper, steel mesh and coloured glass, chosen for their vandal-deterring properties,
give the building its sweetie-like appearance. Giant letters on the roof clearly
announce its function as a library.
The library was designed to be an
integral part of Peckham. The bright
colours of the glass panels challenge
the viewer to see the neighborhood in a
new way. It doesn’t hide Peckham, it
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