Brighton Library Wins Prime Minister's Public Building Award

By Katherine McGlinchey | 14 October 2005
shows a photograph of a glass and metal building with a flat roof

Oustide the Jubilee Library.

Brighton’s Jubilee Library won the 2005 Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award at a ceremony held in London on October 13 2005.

A £14 million Private Finance Initiative (PFI), the library opened on March 3 2005 and beat 14 other schemes on a shortlist chosen from a record 139 entries.

The award is now in its fifth year and recognises excellence in design quality and procurement practices of publicly funded building schemes.

Shows a photo of the glass front of the library from the inside.

Inside, the library is light and airy. Photo: Emily Sands © 24 Hour Museum.

“The Jubilee Library in Brighton is a stunning piece of architecture that enhances its location, its environment and its community,” said Tessa Jowell MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport who presented the award at the British Construction Industry Award Ceremony.

The library, designed by Bennetts Associates Architects in Association with Lomax Cassidy & Edwards, is one of the country’s most energy efficient public buildings. Its low energy consumption provides an estimated 50% reduction in carbon and the building as a whole relies on local climatic conditions and can recycle rainwater.

shows the side of a building against a clear blue sky

The library was designed by Bennetts Associates Architects in association with Lomax Cassidy and Edwards.

Katharine Pearce, Project Manager, Brighton and Hove City Council said the library has been a great success with the customers who find the building thrilling.

“We feel we have achieved with our partners an astonishingly beautiful building, combining a very strong aesthetic with its overall function, to truly work as a space for learning, contemplation and interaction.”

Shows a photo of a view of the library from a balcony.

Visitors numbers to the library have shot up. Photo: Emily Sands © 24 Hour Museum.

Visitors to the new library have steadily increased since opening and it is estimated that one million people will come to experience the innovative building each year. It has three times as many books as the previous main library and has a rare books and special collections area with material spanning six centuries.

Judges of the competition said: “This PFI project has given Brighton a long-awaited facility which has been designed and delivered with great flair.”

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