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Redesign and refurbishment

The Artizan Street Library & Community Centre is built beneath a housing estate tower block right in the heart of the City of London. The library staff at Artizan Street provide valuable frontline housing services, responding to residents’ enquiries about car parking, payments, and many other day-to-day housing needs.

Artizan Street Library & Community Centre is bordered by Middlesex Street, the home of the famous “Petticoat Lane Market”. The textiles industry has been an integral part of the history of this area since at least the 17th century, when the Huguenot refugees settled there, bringing their silk weaving craft. Now, as well as the market, there are thriving tailors, haberdasheries, textiles shops, clothes shops and several fashion colleges are located nearby.

Our brief was to create a modern, vibrant, welcoming design that reflected this heritage of the area. The reception area was redesigned to consider the needs of the Housing Estate team as well as the Library Service and to reflect use of the library, which was predominately by families with young children and City workers. The low level island mobile shelving allows for easy flexibility and movement to open up and expand the space for group activities whilst the cocoon seating encourages a safe nook for quiet reding.

We repurposed all the existing wall shelving and brought this bang up to date with contemporary signage. Some of the existing furniture was also reintroduced into the design but we also incorporated some new lounge collaborative seating with integrated power to allow people to plug in their own devices safely for sustained use. Laptop tables are also supplied throughout the library encouraging users of all ages to find their personal space for flexible use. We worked closely with reForm Architects ensuring the colours and finishes matched the Huguenot colour palette that was selected. A unique bespoke graphics package celebrating the rich history of the area has been installed throughout the library but notably at the front of the library. Vibrant and inclusive, the children’s library now also boasts a large playful wall graphic.

The redesign of Artizan Street Library & Community Centre now reflects and celebrates the rich history and the vibrant culture around it.

  • reForm Architects
  • Matt Clayton

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