Old Library is on list for big award

The Old Library in Leamington. Image courtesy of TAG Properties.
The Old Library in Leamington. Image courtesy of TAG Properties.

The architects behind the refurbished Old Library in Leamington have been shortlisted for a prestigious regional award.

Tate Hindle Architects are among the list on nine possible winners of the Royal Institute Of British Architects West Midlands Award for its work on the Leamington landmark.

The Old Library, in York Road, was built in 1901 to house the town’s ‘Free Library’ and Technical and Art School.

Its creation was in response to local demand for such facilities but its useful multi-purpose role was expanded to include a secondary day school.

In 1928, an annex was added to house both an art gallery and museum and, more recently, it housed Leamington Library until that moved to the Pump Rooom in 1999.

The building was listed at Grade II in 2004 and was being used as a temporary headquarters for Bath Place Community Venture before it was controversially sold by former owner Warwickshire College to developer TAG Properties to create luxury flats.

Despite various changes of use since its completion over a century ago, the building still boasted a wealth of original period features - from arched doorways to ornate cast-iron radiators.

In September last year the architect team won the prestigious Architects’ Journal Retrofit Award for the building project’s blend of original features with modern interior design along with complete retrofitting with modern appliances and energy-efficient technology.

All shortlisted buildings will be assessed by a regional jury and the winners of RIBA West Midlands Awards will be announced at Spotlight in Birmingham on April 30.

Regional winners will also be considered for a coveted RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, which will be announced in June and these national winners will also be considered for the overall Stirling Prize.