IHBC’s HESPR ‘Special Interest Sector News’ pick of the week: AJ on ‘The most Corbusier building in Britain’, now GII listed

logoThe IHBC’s heritage business register HESPR – our Historic Environment Service Providers Recognition quality assurance scheme for heritage services – emails members weekly ‘News and Tender Alerts, with news from across the development sector, and this week features the Architects’ Journal (AJ) on what it describes as ‘The most Corbusier building in Britain’! 

‘a striking and well-articulated example of post-war library design’…

AJ writes:

Saltash Library, completed in 1963 and designed by Royston Summers of Cornwall County Architects’ Department, has been handed a Grade II listing.

In an article in the AJ in 1987, Summers (1931-2012) described the library, which is still in use today, as ‘the most Corbusier building in Britain’.

According to Historic England, the textured concrete structure is ‘a striking and well-articulated example of post-war library design’, drawing reference from famous Modernist architect Le Corbusier’s Palace of Justice at Chandigarh, which began construction in 1951….

Summers’ library was the only part of a proposed new Civic Centre scheme earmarked for the growing Longstone area, which was to have included a new guildhall, police station, county health clinic, council offices and council chamber.

The listing citation states that the pale-grey concrete and white, rough rendering on the exterior of the library were designed to ‘harmonise with the Cornish landscape’. Inside, the library was ‘warm and inviting, including richly coloured fabrics for the chairs and Nigerian walnut for shelves, tables and balustrades’…..

Architectural historian Pevsner described Saltash Library as ‘one of the most innovative of the County Architect’s post-war oeuvre’.

The library was opened on 10 December 1963 and cost £20,000 to construct. ….

Read more….

See the Listing

Visit the Library on Google Street View

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