Phase 3A: In Phase 3A the North Bay was re-modelled into a new Writers' Room, that with refurbishment of the main Victorian Reading Room, created a cohesive suite of rooms to be used as practical working spaces.
The new Writers' Room provides a purpose-built workspace for the many members who use the Library as an alternative to an office or study at home. In keeping with the traditional appeal of the existing rooms on this floor, the Writers' Room incorporates bespoke lighting, new desk spaces and two levels of book access with ground floor and balcony shelving. Like the Sackler Study, The Writers' Room perfectly marries an historic setting with the needs of the 21st century, with the purpose-designed desks facilitating laptop use as well as more traditional research methods.
The Victorian Reading Room has been fitted with bespoke furniture, new shelving and lighting. View the completed new spaces of the Reading Floor in our photo gallery.
The next phases will see the full refurbishment of the historic 1890s stacks in the rear of the building, which is particularly urgent as two major floods have occurred there in the last 12 months. We must improve the fragile infrastructure to safeguard a large part of our collection from the risk of damage.
The original 19th century stacks were at the cutting edge of Victorian technology, with their innovative steel frame and grille floors allowing good air and light circulation. Among the first library stacks installed in Britain, they are now Grade II listed. Three new levels of courtyard stacks will provide 25 years' of growth space for our ever-expanding collections, and further additional space will be created for members who use the Library as their place of work or study.
The culmination of the 21st Century Campaign will be to create a suite of rooms for Members, comprising a new reading room that will offer flexible space for lectures and seminars outside core Library hours, and a Members’ Room for writing and relaxation, giving onto a roof terrace. The new reading room will be be named The Andrew Devonshire Reading Room in honour of the 11th Duke of Devonshire who, as Vice-President of the Library, championed the 150th Anniversary Appeal and founded the International Friends of The London Library in New York. Read about Phase 4.
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