Durning Library

Feasibility study for a Grade II listed Library in south London for the London Borough of Lambeth

This feasibility project explored the potential development of one of the London Borough of Lambeth’s most characterful listed libraries. Our report explored retaining the library service at the core of the building, and extending and introducing other potential uses into the building as a way of generating income and protecting the future of both the library service and building.

We developed a community engagement programme with the Building Exploratory to test ideas with different community groups, and commissioned artist Linda Florence to make an installation for the building. We also worked with Julia Holberry to create a business plan model for each option.

We developed a proposal for improved access into the building, keeping intact the decorative Victorian screen at the front of the building but adding a ramp behind the screen that takes visitors through the main door into the library.

Linda installed a series of window vinyls to cover temporary storage in the front office. The vinyls feature the animated figures of the Victorian gothic building from gargoyles to relief sculpture, now as library residents busy using computers, reading and playing music. She also designed a bookmark for the library.

Our study developed a series of fully costed and coordinated proposals ranging from small scale interventions to much larger scales of development, extending the building with a range of proposed new uses.


Structural Engineer:


Services Engineer:

Max Fordham & Partners

Project Managers:


Business Planner:

Julia Holberry

Activity Planner:

The Building Exploratory


Linda Florence