The South Shall Rise Again: Canada Water and Deptford Libraries

As the Sword of Damocles hangs over five Lewisham Libraries by a single hair from Mayor Bullock's beard, it's worth remembering that there are two major library projects planned for nearby. Like modern leisure centres, they are attempting to create destinations with the scale and flexibility to appeal to a wide range of users and the capacity to generate significant commercial income streams.

In Surrey Quays (top), the Canada Water regeneration scheme is progressing rapidly, and the library is in the advanced stages of construction. When complete in 2011, it will offer large reading areas for adults and children and a messy area for the under-fives. The gallery level will include classrooms and meeting rooms.

In Deptford (bottom), Lewisham Council's plans for the town centre include a new building for Tidemill School, incorporating The Deptford Lounge - "a new living room for the city". Plans were approved in 2009 and Lewisham Council promises that the finished building will offer:
  • A state of the art library including children’s and youth library
  • AccessPoint – one stop shop giving access to Council services
  • Flexible spaces to hire out for events such as weddings, conferences and celebrations
  • Flexible working spaces to hire out to the community voluntary sector and small starter businesses
  • CafĂ©
Also in the series: