An innovative project that will transform two Cambridgeshire libraries by installing state-of-the-art community spaces has come closer.
The County Council has signed an agreement with Jan Kattein Architects to develop flexible and inclusive spaces in the Central Libraries in March and Cambridge as part of the EverySpace project.
A public consultation will take place shortly to determine the design of the spaces and the development work will begin in the spring of 2023.
The move comes after galleries, museums, libraries and cultural venues across the country received nearly £50million earlier this year to improve people’s access to the arts, protect cultural property for future generations and stimulate economic growth through culture.
Cambridgeshire Libraries have received £260,000 from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, donated by Arts Council England. The grant will be complemented by funding of £128,968 from Section 106, which is developer-provided funding and will help deliver the EverySpace project.
EverySpace is centered on adaptable, co-managed spaces that allow the community to connect, share, create and discover. It follows the “kit of parts” model, capturing the flexibility and inventiveness of a pop-up within a defined architectural system.
At Cambridge Central Library, EverySpace will be on the third floor, with users walking through the library to reach the space. In March Library, EverySpace fits naturally into the Future High Street Fund, which will improve access from the High Street. The design of both sites will be guided by the needs of each individual community, with public consultation expected to begin in the fall.
Councilor Tom Sanderson, Chair of the Cambridgeshire Communities, Social Mobility and Inclusion Committee, said: “I am delighted that this exciting project is moving forward. EverySpace will make a huge difference in how both libraries are used and will benefit residents for years to come.
“EverySpace’s future-proof design is multi-usable and can serve different groups with different functions, further supporting our priority of making our spaces accessible to everyone. We will soon be launching a public consultation in which I encourage residents to participate. »
Gareth Marriott, Design Director at Jan Kattein Architects, said: “In addition to being devoted to books, libraries are spaces for learning and sharing skills, spaces for interaction, spaces for warmth, pleasure spaces. We are delighted to work with Cambridgeshire. Libraries and local partners on the EverySpace project, on testing and expanding what each library can be for its local community.”