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Old Library, Liverpool

Client: Lister Steps

Location: Lister Drive, Liverpool

Cost: £4.6m (including £3m HLF)

Area: 0.5 hectares

Project Type: Community / Heritage & Culture

XQLA were been appointed alongside OMI Architects by Lister Steps in May 2015 to provide the external designs for the restoration of The Andrew Carnegie Library in east Liverpool. Built in the late19th Century and designed by Thomas Shelmerdine, the Old Library project will see the Grade II listed Andrew Carnegie Library in the Tuebrook area of Liverpool transformed into a new community hub offering childcare, rentable meeting space, hot desking, heritage activities, an events venue and a wide range of training and volunteering opportunities for local people. The practices sensitively approached the project with a systematic review of contextural information, including archive research, with a view to properly understanding the probable design intent of Shelmerdine’s work at the time with a view to developing an appropriate rationale for contemporary interventions associated with the repurposed public and play spaces whilst being sympathetic to the heritage setting, The outcome is a cohesive community environment supporting a wide range of uses including a distinctive play environment to support the childcare provision.