The £1.2m project is the first major refurbishment of the building in 35 years, and has involved bringing the interior of the historic library up to date. As well as new furniture and lighting, the redesign has provided a dedicated entrance, a mezzanine floor, computer workstations, a training area and better access facilities for wheelchair users.
A white-and-red colour scheme has replaced the original brown and orange, and glass partitioning has been used to better display the building’s original stone and timber features. Graphics have been introduced to help users find their way around the new space that, along with the new colour palette, fits in with the City of London’s existing identity.
Bisset Adams was tasked with modernising the library by its owners, the City of London Corporation, in November 2008. The appointment followed a three-way pitch against the JDS Group and library design specialist Demco Interiors.
The Guildhall Library specialises in the history of London and the City, and houses a large collection of historic and modern collections, including a growing digital archive.
Work is still being conducted on the archives, and the library will open fully on 25 March