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Plans submitted for £23M Sunderland library hub

Sunderland City Council and architect FaulknerBrowns have submitted plans for a £23M library hub, which will become a major element of the wider Riverside Sunderland regeneration masterplan.

The 7,300m² steel and timber-framed building will house libraries for children, young people and adults; a local studies and archives centre; creative labs; spaces for instructed learning and play; a café; galleries, and a hall for performances.

According to FaulknerBrowns, the brick-clad library hub will have a ‘strong sculptural form to create an identifiable landmark’. Its mass, says the architect, is ‘carved into smaller blocks in response to the high street setting, with punched openings and towers expressed on the façades’.

The overall Riverside development is being designed and developed by Sunderland City Council and its partner Igloo Regeneration. The masterplan is set to revive a large swathe of land along the River Wear, much of which was formerly occupied by the Vaux Brewery. The site already accommodates new office developments and a new City Hall, while further developments include 1,000 new homes as well as community workspaces.

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