Library and Horticultural Society Centre in The Quarry Park in Shrewsbury.

A contextual approach was taken to this contemporary design, taking inspiration from the surrounding textures, geometries, and patterns. In order to engage with the landscape an entrance corridor is weaved through existing buildings. The corridor is fragmented, landscaped gardens emerge in the exposed areas. Inside the library a ‘fortified wall’ hugs the free working spaces, providing hidden service areas. The work areas are placed on mezzanine levels, creating a central void and connections between floors. These work areas connect to an external courtyard, acting as an extension of the park, this courtyard is enclosed by a perforated facade. Small details are included which signal to the wider context: glazed terracotta tiles take their patterns from surrounding Tudor timber-framed buildings and create a ‘jewelled façade’. Narrow, deep-set windows echo the windows of Shrewsbury Castle.

I believe architecture is informed by history and collective memory; there is value and beauty in protecting both notable and prosaic, perhaps industrial, structures. These spaces should not be discarded or overhauled as part of major developments; they should enhance the grain of a city and protect the collective memory of communities while adapting to the changing needs of modern society, like adding layers to a collage.

Ideally, I believe design methods should take a humane approach: gaining knowledge and experience from the community affected by the building and its history, and the people using the new installation.

Although this design method is not economically viable in every circumstance, it can be scaled down to allow for smaller budgets. I believe that architecture should evoke memory and inspiration in people rather than simply financial gain or notoriety.