King Cross Library, Halifax
A library – a place of refuge, a place of experience, a place of reference, a place to gain knowledge, and a place to meet.
The building is located in an existing landscaped strip, a narrow and restrictive site, which slopes downwards from a dual carriageway to the rear of the busy main street of King Cross, Halifax, and takes advantage of a distinct route from King Cross’ main street and an adjacency to the public car park.
The design provides maximum flexibility in the main spaces and a zone of private individual spaces to one side act as an acoustic buffer to a busy thoroughfare. The recreation areas and garden space are intended for community participation and are large enough to hold events and accommodate educational groups. The facilities are deliberately placed on two levels to afford control, supervision and security of activities. A room for contemplation is incorporated to take account of the disparate needs of a multi-faith community.
An assessment of the existing urban grain revealed the disparate range of scales, styles and materials and a deliberate decision was taken to implement a different style rather than replicate any of the existing. The ‘modern’ language of the proposed architecture has been chosen to define the position of the building, announce its presence in the urban landscape and incorporate sustainable principles into its appearance – a ’green’ building in a green corridor! The building’s status is amplified by the material choice and façade arrangement promoting it as both a ‘beacon’ in the community and a sanctuary for community use.