Arts & Civic

Oldham Library & Lifelong Learning Centre

Oldham, Greater Manchester

The Library and Lifelong Learning Centre is the second phase of the new Cultural Quarter in Oldham, and is situated adjacent to the first phase – Gallery Oldham.

The approach to the Learning Centre is through the double height entrance foyer of the Gallery. Increased in size the foyer forms an access hub for the Gallery, Library and Lifelong Learning Centre at the very heart of the Quarter. The building form peels away from the linear gallery orientating it towards the broad expanse of distant moorlands to the South and East.

Views from the second floor Galleries toward the South are maintained and enhanced by a sedum roof to the library and a ‘blade of light’ – a north-light that reflects the sky and extends along the length of the new building.

A performance space enclosed within an oval form and clad in copper, is dramatically expressed against the regular texture of the southern elevation, providing a strong image when viewed from the by-pass and the southern wards of Oldham.

CABE said of the building: '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.'