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It is a striking building best imagined as an inverted capital letter 'L', with the upper part supported by thin steel pillars set at apparently random angles. Various 'pods' house meeting rooms, children's areas and the library's Afro-Caribbean section.
The exterior is clad with pre-patinated copper.
The Stirling prize judges were impressed with the building's approach. Alsop has taken the plan footprint of a conventional library and elevated it to create a public space beneath the building and to remove the quiet reading space from street level noise. The remaining, supporting buildings on the ground and 1st floors house the information and media centre.
The Library opened to the public on March 8, 2000, with an official opening by the Rt Hon Chris Smith, Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport on May 15, 2000.
The building attracted 500,000 visitors in its first year of opening in the wake of its receipt of the prize. This has dropped to approximately 420,000 for 2006.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Peckham Library.|
- Peckham Library on Southwark Council site
- Peckham Library & Media Centre architecture page on Open University site
- Peckham Library, London, UK guide on BBC h2g2 site