Brighton’s new central library building has been completed and handed over to the council, on time, by contractors Rok. Staff have already begun the task of stocking the library with over 140,000 items including books, audio-visual material, 45,000 rare volumes and 80 public computer terminals.
From the new year, the public square in front of the library will be opened so activity within the building can be seen from outside. World Book Day, March 3, has been chosen for the official opening to the public.
The library is thought to be one of the most eco-friendly buildings in the UK. Most of the heating and ventilation are provided by sea breezes or sunlight caught by the huge glazed south wall. The building is expected to cut standard carbon emissions by 50%.
Deputy council leader Sue John said, “The city can be very proud of this wonderful new resource in a beautifully designed modern building” John Chinnock, Rok's project leader at the library from inception to completion, said: "We are delighted and proud to have been part of the team involved with providing such an innovative and valuable facility for the local community."
Around three times the size of the city’s old Church Street library, the new building is the centrepiece of a £50m regeneration of the area. This will include the new square, a hotel, shops, offices, restaurants and both private and affordable housing.
Completion of the whole scheme is due for early 2006.
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Brighton & Hove City Council