Wright & Wright are working on a single national library and archive for the National Church Institutions of the Church of England at Lambeth Palace in London. This will be the first new building on the site for almost two hundred years.
Located on the south bank of the River Thames opposite the Palace of Westminster, the new building will take the form of an ‘occupied wall’, rising to create a nine-storey tower, a sensitive addition which will animate the skyline of Lambeth Palace. The design rationale is to elevate the precious collection – originally established by Archbishop Bancroft in 1610 – protecting it from any potential risk of flooding. The building will also screen the garden from noise and pollution from traffic using Lambeth Palace Road.
The building comprises of a double-height entrance hall containing the reception and exhibition areas which will host a dedicated programme of exhibitions, as well as an Upper Room designated for seminars and other functions. This sits centrally between two wings of four and five storey archives. The design also incorporates a conservation studio, seminar and teaching rooms, a ground floor Reading Room and staff offices on the ground and first floors, all of which overlook the garden.