Mansfield Woodhouse Library
Mansfield Woodhouse Library was built in 1961 and is managed by Inspire, a charitable community benefit society. Along with Nottinghamshire County Council, Inspire has an ongoing commitment to modernising and refurbishing libraries across the county, making sure they stay open and well used.
When they decided to refurbish Mansfield Woodhouse Library, Inspire chose us as principle designer and contractor. Our remit was to restore and regenerate the building, making sure it was equipped to meet the changing needs of the local community.
Libraries are an important part of community life and at Mansfield Woodhouse, Inspire wanted the library to be a popular hub for cultural activities and learning. They asked us to significantly improve the existing facilities, as well as making the building more sustainable and efficient to run, long into the future.
Our design included filling in a previously unused courtyard, increasing the library’s useable floor space dramatically. We also removed a mezzanine floor, bringing the entire library onto one level and making it fully accessible for everyone.
The project presented several challenges, including asbestos removal and renewing the drive. On top of this, the library needed to close for the work to take place, so we had to make sure everything was completed as quickly as possible to minimise this closure and any disruption to the local community.
It was clear from the beginning that a commitment to sustainability was incredibly important to the Inspire team, so we incorporated it right from the earliest design stage.
We introduced LED lighting, improved insulation and gave the building a brand new, efficient heating system.
Our design maximised use of space within the library building, opening up the courtyard, creating a more spacious feel and hugely improving accessibility.
While there were challenging elements, like the asbestos, drains and tight timescale, we worked closely with the Inspire team to manage them effectively. In doing so, we were very happy to exceed the expectations of our client and the community.
Our work at Mansfield Woodhouse regenerated the library into a vibrant amenity, providing a significantly better environment for reading, learning, cultural and community activities.
We improved the overall appearance of the building while maintaining its heritage, creating a more welcoming experience and useable facility for visitors.
Since it reopened, it’s become a flagship library for Nottinghamshire, with an extensive arts and cultural learning programme, whilst the newly introduced meeting room has seen a large increase in bookings, creating additional revenue, which is being poured back into library services.