One of Northern Ireland’s most popular 20th century libraries has been refurbished and extended with Crittall Windows helping to retain its unique character.
Coleraine Library was built in 1969 in Brutalist style on a restricted site at a town centre road junction. The task of designing a complete makeover that nonetheless respected the original features of the Grade B2 listed building fell to Belfast-based Hamilton Architects.
The original three-storey building was circular in plan with a distinctive saw-tooth window configuration on the first and second floors. Project architect Nicola Donnelly says: “The building was listed a few years ago and so we were required to provide a like-for-like window replacement. The existing steel windows were replaced with the same slim steel frames but with a much improved thermal performance.”
Crittall W20 windows were specified for the contract, with polyester powder coated white frames they contribute to the overall light and airy feel of the redesigned library interior. The double-glazed, weatherstripped windows suit perfectly a heritage building with a modern purpose.
The space available has been augmented by the addition of two three-storey wings but these are deliberately restrained in their design so as not to detract from the building’s characteristic circular appearance.
Designed and constructed to achieve a BREEAM Very Good certification Coleraine Library now provides users with vastly improved facilities. The £2.3m refurbishment was funded by the Northern Ireland Department for Communities.