Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award (Shortlisting) 2007
Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre, Greater Manchester
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'
Client: Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council
Principal designer: Pringle Richards Sharratt
Principal engineer: Arup
Principal contractor: Kier North West
Contract value: £12 million
Oldham Library 'breathing new life into town', says CABE
24 September 2007
Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council is to be presented with a plaque to mark the inclusion of Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre in the shortlist for this year’s Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award.
Lynda Fairhurst, Head of Oldham Lifelong Learning Service, and Sheena MacFarlane, Head of Heritage, Libraries and Art, will be presented with the plaque by Mairi Johnson, CABE's Head of Enabling for public buildings, at 2.30pm on Tuesday 25 September. Media are invited to attend the presentation at Oldham Library, Greaves Street, Oldham.
The library, designed by Pringle Richards Sharratt Architects, is among 18 shortlisted entries competing for the Prime Minister’s Award. The award recognises new buildings, places and spaces that, through good design, have improved local public services, create a sense of community and local pride, and are helping to build a sustainable future.
Bringing together children's, adult and reference libraries as well as a performance space, IT teaching rooms, art rooms and a crèche, the judges commended the building for providing a focus for the whole community which has helped to breathe new life into a previously neglected part of Oldham. Proof of its success is the sharp rise in visitor numbers - more than double those to the old library - since its opening in 2006.
The building includes environmentally sustainable features such as collecting rain water from the green roof and using it to flush toilets throughout the building, and making maximum use of natural ventilation and light.
CABE's Mairi Johnson said:
'Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre is an exemplary public building which makes learning, art, reading and performance accessible to all sectors of community. Both functional and attractive, it is designed and built to last.'
Lynda Fairhurst and Sheena MacFarlane from Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council, who jointly accepted the plaque, said:
'This flagship building has combined literature and learning in a visually exciting, accessible and environmentally friendly building. We were delighted to be a part of the planning process and equally delighted with the positive response of its thousands of users.'