Riverside House reminded me of Rochdale. Both are modern library buildings mixed in with community services in a riverside setting, in a place starting with R, with big curved glass doors and with grey and purple as the décor theme!
The library takes up the ground floor in a U shape. There are swipe gates in the middle for the council staff to access the council offices. The library areas were very nice and modern but not that big. It also includes an exhibition area at one end of the library and some display cases with pottery in at the entrance.
The children’s area was great, with a stage area still kitted out from Halloween and a reading hideaway.
The entrance to Bradford City Library is quite small but then there’s a much larger area upstairs.
According to Wikipedia this library opened in 2013 after it was found that the previous building housing the library was a fire risk and had asbestos in its walls.
The new library is situated on Centenary Square which has cafes, bars, a theatre, gallery and museum and the stunning town hall and other municipal buildings surrounding a mirror pool. Kids were playing football outside and a film was being projected on the wall.
It was a lovely complex, full of life even on a cold November evening.
The library reminded me a little of Brighton library, particularly upstairs, even though it is much smaller. I think it was the metal and glass stairs, grey carpet and the use of pale wood.
The children’s library has the reading hideaway chairs that are very popular. Only now that I am looking at my photos have I realised that the children’s area was decorated with underpants!
Even though it was Saturday and the library was closing in 30 minutes time there were still about 40 customers and 5 members of staff in the library. It also looked like there was an activity in the adjoining gallery – it was hard to tell where the library ended and the gallery/activity room began which I’m sure is a deliberate attempt to invite people into both spaces.