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Interior Jubilee Library 

Jubilee Library Award Winning 

 An award-winning landmark library

Brighton’s Jubilee Library opened on World Book Day, 3 March 2005.  It's ultra-modern and innovative glass-fronted structure stands tall within the city’s new £50m Jubilee Square development, and since opening the Library has won fourteen awards

  • Prime Minister's Better Public Buildings Award 2005
  • British Construction Industry Building Projects Award 2005
  • Sussex Heritage Trust - Community Award 2005
  • Chartered Institute of Building Service Engineers (CIBSE) Major Project of the Year 2005
  • Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Regional Award 2005
  • Public Private Finance Awards - Operational Project with Best Design 2005
  • Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) Public Libraries Group Award - Partnership category 2005
  • Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) Public Libraries Group Award - Delegates Choice 2005
  • Concrete Society - Certificate of Excellence 2005
  • British Urban Regeneration Association – Best Practice in Regeneration Award for Best Design-led Regeneration
  • Project. (Award for whole site development) 2005
  • International Green Apple Awards 2006 for the Built Environment and Architectural Heritage
  • Art and Work Award for a Site Specific Commission (joint winner) 2006
  • Observer Ethical Award 2006 - Buildings Category
  • Civic Trust Award 2006
We have also been runners up in
  • RIBA Stirling Prize 2005 - finalist - one of 6 international entries
  • The MJ 2006 Achievement awards - Public Private Partnership - finalist
  • SCALA - Society of Chief Architects of Local Authorities - Civic Building of the year 2006, Major Project category - runner up
  • LGC Awards 2006 – Public /Private Partnership category – commended

An outstanding feature is its magnificent glass south-facing frontage, which links the inside and outside spaces, tempting people from the public square into the library. The large west wall is clad with thousands of dark blue and green hand-glazed ceramic tiles, recalling the ‘mathematical' tiles on many historic Brighton buildings.  Inspiration for the ‘cathedral-like’ interior was taken from 19th century Paris libraries with their tall and lofty columned spaces. The décor is modern, colourful and stylish. Interior walls are clad in beechwood with sound baffling qualities, and internal concrete surfaces are painted white to maximise light reflection.

An eco-friendly building

The building has been designed to take advantage of natural energy provided by its south coast setting – specifically sunshine and wind. The sun's energy is gathered through the vast glass south wall. Heat is stored in walls and a specially constructed floor, being released slowly into surrounding spaces as part of a low energy release ventilation and heating system. Wind towers on the roof use the south coast sea breeze to draw excess heat from the space below. Concrete has been extensively used to give the building ‘thermal mass', which reduces the need for artificial heating. Even the toilets are flushed with recovered rainwater!


There are three art installations commissioned for the project-‘Wall of a thousand stories' by Kate Malone, for the Children's Library, made up of imaginative ceramic wall plaques to inspire story-telling; a suspended cut paper installation by Georgia Russell for the foyer; and seating that lights up at night by Caroline Barton for the square.

A New Approach to Library Service Delivery

Jubilee Library aims to offer choice, comfort and accessibility. An innovative development is the introduction of self-issue terminals for visitors to electronically check books out themselves.  Staff are available at individual service desks and ‘walking the floor' to provide assistance when and where people need it.  Building on the clarity of design, the new customer focused approach seeks to empower library users, encouraging them to browse and explore, enabling them to ‘help themselves' to the resources on offer. The emphasis is on increased access, with as much stock as possible on open shelves.

Continued Success

Jubilee Library is still the fifth most successful public library in the country, with nearly 1 million visits every year, and issuing over 500,000 items p.a.  The library is open seven days a week, and hosted around 500 events every year.  It continues to attract new members to Libraries Services, with over 12,000 new members joining last year.



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