Architects complete Salford library refurbishment

Michael Hunt

The Liverpool office of Austin-Smith:Lord has completed work on the Eccles Primary Care Centre, which expands and extends the Grade II-listed Carnegie Library in Eccles, Salford.

Work on the multi-million pound 35,000 sq ft redevelopment, located in Memorial Square, started on site in 2007 and involved creating a new building linked to the existing library with the architect firm working in conjunction with Laing O'Rourke on the new extension.

Chris Wright, associate architect at Austin-Smith:Lord, said: "Ensuring that the existing and the new buildings worked in harmony, both in appearance and functionality, was a key factor in the design process."

The new development acts as a Primary Care Health Centre and local authority customer One Stop Advice centre in addition to providing extra space for the neighbouring library, it includes a new children's area and community rooms, plus a cafe.

Manchester, Salford and Trafford Local Improvement Finance Trust Company, a public private partnership founded to support the vision of providing an accessible health service based around patients' needs with integrated primary, community and social care services, has developed the new building in partnership with Salford Council and Salford Primary Care Trust.

Austin-Smith:Lord has previously worked on listed buildings including the Liverpool's Bluecoat arts centre in the city centre, acting as an executive architect during its £12.5m refurbishment.

Eccles Library was opened in 1907 and was paid for by multi-millionaire steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie. It is still known locally as the Carnegie Library.

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