Lambeth Archives, 2024

new high-performance home for borough’s history

Haworth Tompkins has completed an Archive for the London Borough of Lambeth with a strongroom providing over 2 miles of linear shelving and new public facilities. The new space on Brixton Hill will dynamically change the accessibility and visibility of the borough’s public archive collections.

Haworth Tompkins worked closely with the Library and Archives team from feasibility stage to delivery, initially exploring a range of options for where the archive should relocate to. Finally securing the opportunity to move to a mixed-use development in Brixton, close to Lambeth’s new Civic Offices.

Tap to cycle the gallery

Below ground, the collections are stored in a passively conditioned, watertight, 4-hour fire rated and highly secure 400sqm strongroom. There is no insulation below the ground floor slab, which stabilises the temperature in the strongroom - and a dehumidifier is installed for manual use by the archivists.

The carefully designed fabric has achieved an airtightness of <0.3m3/hr/m2. A gas suppression system has been used for the strongroom due to the mixed use of the building (residential above). There is also a separate quarantine store, where incoming items can be reviewed and sorted before being housed in the strongroom.

Haworth Tompkins consulted the National Conservation Services to design the space to meet the requirements of the Archive British Standards; BS EN 16893:2018 Conservation of Cultural Heritage and BS 4971:2017 Conservation and Care Of Archive And Library Collections, and it has since achieved National Archive Accreditation.


London Borough of Lambeth, Libraries and Archives

Main Contractor

McAleer & Rushe

Base Build Architect

Cartwright Pickard Architects

Services Engineer (Stage 0-3)

Skelly & Couch

Services Engineer (Stage 4+)

Caldwells Consulting

Fire Consultant

OFR Fire Engineering

Employers Agent

Bailey Garner

Building Control