Wright & Wright get council blessing for Lambeth Palace library

David Rogers

CGI of Lambeth Palace Library looking north along Lambeth Palace Road

Source: Wright & Wright Architects

New library and archive first new building at site for 200 years

Wright & Wright has been given planning to design a new library and archive building at Lambeth Palace.

The work – approved by Lambeth council earlier this week – at the grade I listed building is the first new build at the official London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury for close to 200 years.

It will house a collection begun in 1610 and will also screen the garden from noise and pollution from traffic using Lambeth Palace Road.

The new library, which will be built in the grounds of the historic palace, will be clad in brick and will rise to eight storeys to ensure the collection is stored above the flood plain. It will also provide modern archival facilities.

The Lambeth Palace Library and Archive contains items dating back to the 9th century and includes a rare vellum Gutenberg Bible dating from the early 1450s, the only surviving copy a copy of the warrant for the execution of Mary Queen of Scots by Elizabeth 1 in 1587 and the licence for the poet John Milton’s third marriage in 1663.

The new library and archive will bring together the Lambeth Palace Library collection and the records of the Church of England Record Centre, which are currently housed in Bermondsey. The building will be funded by the Church Commissioners who own and are responsible for the collection.

Wright & Wright partner Clare Wright said: “It is a fantastic honour to be working on such a significant building.”

The scheme will use hand-made brick and stone and is being carried out for the Libraries and Archives of the Church of England. Main contractor Knight Harwood will start next year with construction set for completion in 2020.

Other members of the project team include landscape architect Dan Pearson Studio, QS Fanshawe and M&E consultant Max Fordham.

Wright & Wright is also behind plans to expand exhibition and visitor space at east London’s Geffrye Museum, another grade I listed structure.


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