The design brief was very similar of that of the Redcar Library. It was decided to develop a square plan with three levels; the principal public facilities are situated on the ground floor. The upper level, in the same volume but sufficiently separated for quiet and privacy, houses reference and study and meeting rooms.
A semi-basement takes advantage of the sloped site and houses bookstacks and storage space, as well as administration and staff rooms.
The generous overhang of the roof, apparently floating over the enclosing glass wall and smaller brick structure, takes its inspiration from the old cedar tree on the site. It also, as at Redcar, gives the building an open, welcoming and anti-institutional character. This also gives two different scales to the building: the large scale of the space frame roof, as a square plane sheltering and giving unity to the small-scale village of varied spaces created by the brick structures below.Photographs by John Donat