The project involved the refurbishment of the existing premises, and the provision of a new build contemporary oak and glass extension to the library, which was constructed in 1905, with funding from Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish born steel magnate and philanthropist.
Planning requirements stipulated that the new build element of the historical building should not resemble a traditional extension, but should appear to ‘float’ separately alongside the old building. Apollo and architects therefore worked closely with English Heritage to design a butterfly roof and full height glass façade, providing a sympathetic marriage between the two architectural eras.
Apollo Divisional Manager, Steve Kelly said: “This has been a fascinating and challenging project from a design point of view. By working with the planners and the local community, we have produced a library that they can enjoy and be proud of.
“To assist Waltham Forest Council in keeping the library open for the longest time possible, we delivered the refurbishment element of the project early, and carried out the new build phase whilst the facility remained operational.”
At the library opening event, where the Apollo team were joined by representatives of Waltham Forest Council, Councillor Geraldine Reardon commented:
“The refurbished library looks great and I’m sure Lea Bridge residents will enjoy seeing what it has to offer.”