A new 10-storey structure within Lambeth Palace gardens, on a site of significant archaeological and ecological interest, that will provide the Church of England with a single facility for the second-largest collection of religious manuscripts in Europe.
The new building will house 21km of mobile racking designed to PD5454 archive storage standards, as well as a public reading room and a state-of-the-art conservation studio looking out onto a sheltered garden and pond.
The enormous loads of the archive shelving - equivalent to a swimming pool on every floor level - combined with the extremely stringent deflection requirements for the racking, posed a significant challenge. The resulting reinforced concrete structure is exposed throughout the building as a feature of the architectural design, but also to assist the regulation of temperature and humidity in the archive spaces. All rainwater from the building is directed into the new pond which functions as a SuDs attenuation tank with its level varying with the seasons.
The project has been rated BREEAM 'Excellent'.