The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Redcar Library goes in for listing

The library in 1971The C20 Society has made a last minute attempt to save Redcar Library, designed in 1971 by Ahrends, Burton and Koralek (ABK).

With the support of a number of noted experts on post-war architecture and ABK themselves, the building was submitted for listing last week. English Heritage are due to visit in the coming week.

ABK’s designs for library buildings were particularly noteworthy and Redcar, designed in collaboration with Norman Reuter from the Department of Education and Science was an early and succesful attempt to introduce a range of civic facilities into a library -something we now all take for granted. Redcar broke down the barriers between the various spaces inside the building and succeeded in delievering an inviting civic space that was accessible and open to all.

The building is steel framed and designed with an ‘industrial aesthetic’ to respond to the history of steel making in Redcar and features a distinctive, sculptural roofline. The building has not been well maintained and, as one would expect of buildings of this date, is not environmentally efficient. The Council want to demolish the building by the end of March.


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