Paisley Learning and Cultural Hub
Collective Architecture was appointed in 2016 to complete a Design Study for the relocation of Paisley Library. The study highlighted four options for the library, with the prefered option focusing on relocation of the Library from 96 to 22 High Street.
22 High Street was part of Paisley’s medieval centre, previously the site of the Semple Family’s town house which dates from the 17th century. The current building was constructed in 1876 and substantially modified in the1950s. The ground and first floors have been replaced with a post and beam steel structure on an approximately 5.5m grid. The first and second floors retain a number of load bearing stud walls which bear on the new steel structure.
The new location offers a number of challenges and opportunities. The site is located close to a number of other important civic buildings with which connections can be made. The connections can be views at ground or roof level or through the use of specific materials to create visual links for those passing or visiting these facilities. Also the High Street location presented risks around a lack of differentiation from the adjacent commercial units. The architecture of the proposal therefore had to be distinct and of a high quality.
The concept design for the building focusses on how to create a welcoming, varied and light internal environment within the constraints of the existing footprint. There are multiple challenges to this approach stemming from the re-use of the existing building, the depth of the plan, the extensive programme of display and the two escape routes.
Internally the ground links visually to the upper levels at first and second floors. The stair is immediately apparent on entry and the lift and main lending library can be seen. The Children’s library is also easily accessible. A reception point provides passive supervision of all ground floor spaces.
A flexible events room is located on the 1st floor providing a space capable of hosting 70 people