T S Eliot House is the first phase of a masterplan to refurbish and develop the London Library in St James's Square. The purchase of an adjacent 1970s office block - despite its lack of architectural quality - offered an opportunity to expand without moving services off site. Its refurbishment provides a conservation studio, staff areas and additional bookstacks, so freeing up space for future redevelopment in the main building. The design challenge has been to find a strong contemporary language which works alongside the quirky and characterful architecture of the London Library itself.
“The whole team have worked tirelessly to create and deliver a thoughtful and sustainable solution to the Library's perennial need for space, whilst taking care to ensure that this new wing merges seamlessly into the much loved existing London Library labyrinth.”
Inez Lynn, Chief Executive, The London Library
Internally, it was stripped back to its concrete shell, and internal finishes have a raw quality to reflect this. New toilets were designed in collaboration with Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed. This created a conceptual dialogue to think specifically about the way in which the atmosphere of the building might be amplified and articulated by the new proposals.
Meanwhile, significant changes were achieved to the nondescript brick elevation facing Mason's Yard by remodelling the nondescript 1970s elevation with distinctive projecting windows, flush pointed brickwork, and a black render and lush glass ground floor base.
The London Library, T.S. Eliot House
Address: 14 St James's Square, London
Completion Date: September 2007
Construction Cost: £3.1M
Client: The London Library
Structural Engineer: Price and Myers LLP
Services Engineer: Max Fordham LLP
Quantity Surveyor: Gardiner and Theobald
Lighting Design: Arup
Access Consultants: Babel
Artist Collaboration: Martin Creed