Our design for the redevelopment of Shenfield Library for Essex Housing is a transformative approach which utilises the library’s location, breathing new life into the scheme with the addition of a high-quality public amenity and a new residential community that promise to rejuvenate the urban landscape and redefine the heart of Shenfield. The project – which is on site and due for completion in 2024 – was included within the shortlist for the 2023 Inside Housing Development Awards in the category of Best Development 0-100 Homes.


Key Highlights of the Project:

Modern Library: The centrepiece of the project is a cutting-edge, energy-efficient 365 sqm library equipped with state-of-the-art technology and enhanced space planning to elevate the delivery of library services.

Community-Focused Spaces: The project also includes ancillary spaces and an inviting outdoor learning area and garden that will be accessible to all, fostering a sense of community engagement.

Mixed-Use Development: The out-of-date facility is being replaced with a contemporary, efficient provision, as well as a 50 sqm commercial unit and nine private apartments on the upper floors. These apartments come complete with individual balconies or roof terraces and are conveniently located within walking distance of Shenfield train station.

Seamless Integration: The design carefully integrates the project within the existing streetscape and the town’s urban fabric. A highly-glazed library frontage establishes a visual connection with the town, inviting residents and visitors alike to experience its offerings while benefiting from natural daylight.

Striking Aesthetics: A prominent new library entrance enhances accessibility and orientation, positioning the building to engage with the bustling commercial heart of Shenfield and the nearby train station. The building’s envelope has a simple yet elegant design, featuring a palette of three complementary brick colours.

Sustainability Considerations: The project showcases a commitment to environmental responsibility with features like air source heat pumps, solar panels, a captivating ‘green wall,’ and electric vehicle charging points for each apartment.

Community-Driven Design: A collaborative design consultation process has resulted in a thoughtfully designed public space that promotes community engagement. The new amenity garden offers opportunities for residents and the library users to socialise and enjoy communal outdoor areas.

Our wide-ranging experience in mixed-use and residential schemes ranges from award winning projects such as the creation of a new, high quality sustainable community at Chapel in Southampton and the mixed-use redevelopment of a 15-acre former goods yard site into the New England Quarter in Brighton to a recently completed mixed-use commercial, hotel and residential development on Tooting High Street in London. In the Balsall Heath area close to Birmingham, an underutilised brownfield area is being transformed into the new urban village community of Belgrave Village, and we are incorporating principles of wellbeing and sustainability in a project to revitalise the historic library of Rugby School into a modern space for reading and learning.

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