Chichester Library

Chichester’s distinctive circular library building is to be found tucked away in Tower Street, set between County Hall and the more recently constructed Novium Museum. Although opened in 1967, it was only awarded Listed Grade II status in 2015, after being recognised for its architectural and historic interest. English Heritage considers the library of ‘national importance’ and ‘an exemplar from this period of library building’.

Furthermore, they describe the library as ‘among few libraries of the period that stand out nationally for the quality of their design and their degree of survival’. The library was designed by county architect RF Steele and built in 1965-6 by engineers Ove Arup and Partners (who around that time were working on Sydney Opera House).

Commenting on the library’s architectural merit English Heritage praises ‘the elegant unbroken rhythm of its curved exterior, and the sculptural quality of its internal spaces, which are carefully lit and expressed in a simple palette of contrasting materials’.

DBR Southerns’ work has included designed access scaffolding, paint removal to the concrete ribs and non destructive analysis of the corrosion of the reinforcement. As a result of the non destructive analysis a comprehensive scheme of anode installation was carried out along with mortar repairs to failed areas of concrete. Extensive temporary works was carried out to the portal frame during structural repair works and the concrete ribs were skim coated with a Fosroc anti carbonation coating followed Fosroc paint coatings. All of the windows were fully refurbished in a specially designated site workshop and reinstalled with new mastic seals and decorated casements.


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