Architectural Challenges now

Northamptonshire Central Library, 1910 – Architect: Herbert Norman

In these pages the shared key architectural challenges of adapting the century old buildings for access, energy performance and of maintenance are set out. The scope of current heritage protection is illustrated and buildings at risk identified. Finally, a review identifies the uses to which these buildings have been re-purposed to date.

This research argues that these challenges can be linked in part to particular technological issues that are widespread, so the pages are also linked, where relevant, to subsequent pages describing corresponding typical architectural features.

All interior library photographs for the project were completed prior to the pandemic. Collating images of these public spaces that have necessarily had only limited access during 2020 underlines their social value ever more. Observing the particular distribution of these grants across the British Isles not only sharply highlights our post-industrial context but also simply the geographical scope of its influence as a shared experience.

Glimpse through the window of Whalsay (Isbister) Hall, Shetland – 1909