Hawarden, United Kingdom 2018–present
Client: Gladstone’s Library Grade I listed Competition, first prize
Gladstone's Library, founded by William Gladstone in 1889, is the UK’s only Prime Ministerial Library. The project to expand facilities at the Grade I listed institution aims to promote wider engagement with the liberal values that lay at the heart of Gladstone’s life and work; it involves the creation of a new building as well as work to historic interiors and the surrounding landscape.
The New Hall accommodates conference and meeting rooms to increase the library’s capacity to host events and teaching programmes, as well as exhibition galleries, a reception, and public facilities. The addition of this structure allows the residential library to keep its atmosphere of quiet scholarship. The New Hall has a prominent location at the front of the site and has a clear architectural identity, a simple barn or village hall form, with its long rectangular plan and high-pitched roof. With an arcade along its east façade, it is the visitors first entry point; this space also accommodates a café. Through taking these facilities away from the main building, more reading rooms and quiet spaces can be accommodated.
The design brings together the front of the library, the arcaded front of the New Hall and the Gladstone statue, around the space of the long front lawn. Outside and around this central green space are other, more intimate garden areas; a south facing terrace for the café, a meadow area on the west side framed by woodland for outdoor reading, and the formal garden at the rear.
Hawarden, United Kingdom
Grade I listed
200 m² renovation
600 m² new build
Caruso St John Architects
Adam Caruso, Peter St John
Fabienne Sommer, Catija Christensson
Nora Walter (exteriors)