Jubilee Library

Jubilee Library, Jubilee Library, Jubilee Street, Brighton, BN1 1GE

Library building record

Originally added: 8th October 2005, 9:52pm

Last revised: 13th August 2007, 9:38am

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Authority and
authority type:
Brighton & Hove City Council, Unitary authority

Jubilee Library

Jubilee Street


Postal code:

Library email:


Category of library:
Central/Main library/LRC

Population served:

Nature of project:
New build

Size of library
(square metres):

Number of floors:

Year of completion:

Architect and
architect category:
Bennetts Associates, in association with Lomax Cassidy, Edwards

Project consultant:

Building contractor:

Interior designer:

Furniture supplier(s):

Service and facility supplier(s):

Pounds sterling

Overall cost:

Construction cost:

Fitout cost:

Funding sources:
Private Finance Initiative

External features:
Art works, Materials, Shared site

Internal features:
Structural, Design features

Energy efficiency:

IT provision:
General, Internet access

Accessibility provision:
Access within building, Critical distances, Assistive technology

Services to particular groups, Meeting rooms, Provision of special materials, Equipment provision, Open learning provision, Exhibition/display areas, Retail outlets, Audiovisual/Multimedia areas

Subject specialisation:

Detailed description:
The library sits at the heart of a ¿60m regeneration site, with its magnificent glass frontage overlooking the new city square.

Outer walls are clad with thousands of dark blue and green hand glazed ceramic tiles, recalling the ¿mathematical¿ tiles on many historic Brighton buildings.

The ground and upper floor library halls are both double height spaces. Three single height, flexible perimeter spaces, for book storage, library activities and specialist functions, wrap around these central areas in a u-shape, on three sides.

The ground floor, a lively and welcoming venue, contains adult fiction, separate young people's and children's libraries, sound and vision library, exhibition area and a Book Lover's Store.

The mezzanine floor houses staff offices and a conference suite. The top floor is a 'floating' floor, linked by bridges to the perimeter accommodation, allowing light to flood from the roof-lights above to the ground floor below. It is the main reading area with reference and information stock, and the perimeter accommodation includes a study area and a large computer suite and separate learning centre.

Also on this level is the library's extensive rare books collection and reading room. For the first time these books have been brought together in a fully environmentally controlled and secure store, with a dedicated reading room for public access.

The library is designed to take advantage of the natural energy provided by the south coast setting - specifically sunshine and wind. The sun¿s energy is gathered through the spectacular south facing front glazed wall in winter, with built-in solar shading and automatically opening vents to reduce solar gain and glare in summer. Heat generated by people and equipment in the building is also harnessed and re-used.

Energy use has been minimised, as the building has a high thermal mass and a solid, heavy structure. Concrete floors are laced with hollow tubes in a structure called TermoDeck. Heat is stored in the floor and walls, being released slowly into surrounding areas as part of a low energy release ventilation and heating system.

Instead of air conditioning, natural ventilation enhanced by sea breezes refresh the atmosphere inside and cools the building. Five meter high wind towers on the roof use the breeze to draw excess heat, especially in summer, from the floors below.

Use of daylight is a key element of the design, both in terms of quality of the environment and of reduction of environmental impact and energy consumption. Daylight streams in from the front window and from skylights that run round the main halls. Artificial lights respond automatically to daylight sensors. Water use is minimised by the collection and re-use of rainwater for WC flushing.

Self service terminals enable customers to electronically check books in and out themselves, and staff 'walk the floor' to provide assistance when and where people need it.

A wide range of equipment and software increases access to library services. Adjustable study and computer tables are available and there is a wheelchair for public use. There are tactile floor plans and signage, and colour contrasting surfaces, in addition to computer software that magnifies text and screen reads converting text on screen to speech. There are eight accessible toilets in the building and four of these can take a motorised wheelchair.

Three stunning art installations were commissioned under the Per-Cent for Art scheme: 'Wall of a Thousand Stories' by Kate Malone, made up of 100 imaginative ceramic wall plaques to inspire story-telling; 'Uncover-Discover' by Georgia Russell, a cut paper installation suspended high above the library entrance, inspired by the dictionary definition of library; 'Liquidus' by Caroline Barton, elliptical seats in Jubilee Square made of sweet chestnut and acrylic, which light up at night.

Number of seats /
study places:

Number of public computer

Size of stock:

Number of titles in
specific formats:

Awards won:
Winner: Partnership Award & Delegates Choice Award, Public Library Building Awards, 2005.

Winner: Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award 2005.

Winner: British Construction Industry Building Projects Award 2005

Winner: Sussex Heritage Trust - Community Award 2005

Winner: Chartered Institute of Building Service Engineers CIBSE Major Project of the Year 2005

Winner: Royal Institute of British Architects RIBA Regional Award 2005

Winner: Public Private Finance Awards - Operational Project with Best Design 2005

Winner: Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals CILIP Public Libraries Group Award 2005 - Partnership category

Winner: Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals CILIP Public Libraries Group Award 2005- Delegates Choice

Winner: Concrete Society - Certificate of Excellence 2005

Winner: British Urban Regeneration Association ¿ Best Practice in Regeneration Award for Best Design-led Regeneration Project. Award for whole site development 2005

Winner: International Green Apple Awards 2006 for the Built Environment and Architectural Heritage

Winner: Art and Work Award for a Site Specific Commission joint winner 2006

Winner: Observer Ethical Award 2006 - Buildings Category

Winner: Civic Trust Award 2006

Shortlisted one of 6 international entries for the Stirling Prize

We were also:

The MJ 2006 Achievement awards - Public Private Partnership - finalist

SCALA Society of Chief Architects of Local Authorities Civic Building of the year 2006, Major Project category - runner up

LGC Awards 2006 ¿ Public /Private Partnership category - Commended

Impact studies/POEs etc:

Link to virtual tour:

Further information:
Copyright of all images remains with LCE Lomax Cassidy Edwards - Architects

Children's Library

Children's Library

Exterior shot

Exterior shot

Looking inside at night

Looking inside at night

A general view of the interior

A general view of the interior

The upper floor

The upper floor

Copyright for these images rests with the library authority (unless otherwise stated) and is used with their permission. For permission to re-use these images please contact the library authority.