Kriterion Conservation Architects

HRH The Princess Royal reopens Coleraine Library following stunning £2.3m renovation led by Hamilton Architects

princess anne at the opening
Princess Anne unveiled a plaque to commemorate the reopening of the Grade B1 listed library following a renovation led by Hamilton Architects.
Coleraine Library has reopened its doors to the public following an extensive £2.3m refurbishment designed by Hamilton Architects.

“The transformation of the building provides a modern, attractive and fit for purpose community space to meet the needs of modern library users,” said Area Manager Jean Fitzpatrick.

Prior to refurbishment, there was no wheelchair access to the upper floors, no protected staircase in case of fire and only one means of escape from the gallery floor.

A lack of space meant there was very limited storage and no communal meeting spaces. The windows had inefficient single glazed windows and there was only one public toilet to serve the entire library.

Hamilton’s design transformed this Grade B1 listed building, built in Queen Street in 1969, by adding a large three storey extension and a new entrance lobby to provide a contemporary, flexible environment.

A passenger lift to all floors and additional toilet facilities ensure the library is fully accessible to people with disabilities and the interior layout has been reconfigured, with new decor, fixtures and fittings throughout.

The old children’s area has been reimagined as a ‘Family Space’ and the entrance floor has a ‘Living Room’ feel to it, to entice users to linger.

The extension also provides scope for a full range of useful spaces, including a multi-use meeting room, group area, exhibition section and improved study facility. A dedicated quiet heritage collection room with microfilm readers and printers has been created to maximise the library’s heritage resources.

Improved insulation, a replacement roof covering, a thermally efficient window and heating system, and energy efficient lighting were also installed.

Nicola Donnelly, RIBA Conservation Architect, stated ‘The distinctive fanned Grade B2 Listed Brutalist Coleraine Library has been sensitively renovated and extended to provide new and improved library facilities for the Coleraine community. Two simple glass-clad extensions define the new entrance and provide vertical circulation. The once dated and tired interior has been transformed internally with vibrant and contemporary spaces for study and interaction.’

princess anne with partner paul millar
Paul Hamilton, Partner at Hamilton Architects (centre) at the meet and greet with HRH The Princess Royal.
drone view of Coleraine library
Video Credit: Skytask Aerial / AM electrical