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Social infrastructure

Newcastle Libraries

The Newcastle City Libraries project comprises two newly built facilities, contributing to a city-wide catalogue of over 290,000 resources, available to the residents of Newcastle upon Tyne. 

Client: Newcastle City Council
Kajima's role: Asset Manager
Status: Operational
Key stats: 10,500 sqm £40m

Much more than just a library, these community hubs provide a range of accessible public services, including an expert-led business advisory service, young peoples’ skills zone, café and creche.

In this £40m PFI project, Kajima brought together the local community, library users and the local authority to ensure the new buildings responded fully to user needs. The result, at the landmark city centre facility, is a grand four-storey entrance atrium, allowing easy orientation and visual interconnection between the wide range of services on offer.

With the use of contemporary building materials and careful planning, the overall design, featuring a mainly transparent building, is clean and modern, whilst the library still asserts its civic stature and cultural context. Newcastle City Library has seen a doubling in visitors over the years, as well as receiving awards for innovation, community benefit, accessibility and design.

In 2022, Kajima were approached by Newcastle City Council to facilitate a number of physical changes to the building, in order to maximise its sustainability credentials. Almost 1,000 sqm of solar panels will be added to the library’s rooftop, estimated to generate 65,000kWh per year – that’s enough energy to boil an average kettle 390,000 times. In addition, 450 internal and external light fittings are to be replaced with LED lights, saving 175,000kWh of energy per year, as well as introducing an improved, standalone Building Management System to increase building efficiency.

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