Spearheading an ambitious programme of regeneration, Canada Water Library resembles an inverted ‘ziggurat’ – a terraced pyramid of successively receding storeys – that partly overhangs the Canada Water basin.
The £14m building sits at the edge of a new civic plaza and a stretch of open water. Its expanding pyramid form integrates a compact footprint at ground level with progressively wider floors above. The building is clad in light bronze anodised aluminium panels with sequined perforations, interspersed with recessed curtain wall screens. This design gives the scheme a sculptural appeal and a striking visual effect, symbolising ‘the crown jewel to the new plaza’.
Finished in bronze anodised aluminium, the MX SSG structural sealant glazing and CD commercial doors have been specified for the ground floor. MX Visible Grid is being used for the strips of curtain walling to the three upper floors, with MX top hung concealed vents and PXi doors providing access to the balconies.
MX SSG is a flush curtain walling option which meets specifiers’ requirements for less visible aluminium and clear expanses of glass.
The curtain walling is complemented by FXi65 tilt/turn casement windows used as ‘punched hole’ openings set into the cladding.
This new library forms part of a vibrant quayside for Canada Water – a historic Docklands area that was once a bustling port. It was designed to ‘exemplify the importance of the library, education and community facilities for local people and to provide a focus for a new phase of regeneration.
It accommodates a café, performance space, popular book section and staircase to the Underground station on the ground floor. A mezzanine level provides staff work rooms and offices and a void over the performance area with tiered seating. The floor above features meeting rooms and two large learning facility rooms. A central skylit staircase rises from the ground floor to the galleried library level.
The Canada Water Masterplan was created by master developers BL Canada Quays in conjunction with Southwark Council and includes around 900 new homes, as well as retail, community and public spaces.
The Canada Water Library has strong environmental credentials, with ground source heat pumps, grey water harvesting, energy efficient M&E services, and an extensive green sedum roof. The canted east and west elevations allow winter sun to warm the building and provide a high degree of solar shading for the glazing in the summer, minimising glare. The scheme has achieved a BREEAM ‘very good’ rating.
Technal’s MX aluminium curtain walling suite provides architects and contractors with a wide range of design options from a single grid system – for simplified specification, fabrication and installation; consistent quality; cost efficiency, and reduced time on site. The variations include: