LONDON – ‘The idea of a free standing object in space is appropriate for a library, since it's a portal to the discovery of other worlds,’ says architect Piers Gough of London’s new Canada Water Library.

Gough, a partner at CZWG Architects, led the design of the 2900-sq-m building which binds together a metro station and stretch of open water at a public plaza.

The library is positioned on a tilted angle – like an inverted pyramid – that extends upwards and outwards. This shape minimised solar impact on the south side, which required large widows to reveal waterfront views. Keeping it low-lying also allowed for more interior connectivity and decreased the need for a high number of staff to manage the spaces.

Clad in a bronze aluminium sheeting with sequined perforations, the library offers 360-degree views of the Canada Water basin. Inside are ample flexible spaces that can adapt to different groups of users, plus a cultural space for arts and community events.

Canada Water Library
21 Surrey Quays Road
London, SE16 7AR

Photos courtesy of Tim Crocker