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Templeman Library Extension

Templeman Library Extension

Penoyre & Prasad
University Of Kent, Canterbury, UK | View Map
Project Year
Stories By
Penoyre & Prasad

Tim Crocker, London
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
FlooringForbo Flooring Systems
FlooringKingspan Group
Curtain wallingKawneer
Acoustic panelsDecoustics
GRP void formersAD Bly

Product Spec Sheet
Curtain walling
by Kawneer
Acoustic panels
GRP void formers
by AD Bly

Templeman Library Extension & Extensive Refurbishment

Penoyre & Prasad as Architects

At the heart of the Canterbury campus the Templeman Library has been transformed to become a flagship 21st century learning environment comprising a new extension and extensive refurbishment of the existing building, together demonstrating new standards for renewal of 1960s university buildings. Through a major extension and refurbishment of the Templeman Library, Penoyre & Prasad have created a vibrant, contemporary building at the heart of the University of Kent's campus.


The existing library building was designed by Lord Holford and constructed in 1965. Its large concrete and brick structure is overtly expressed on the outside of the building and revealed as exposed concrete coffers at soffits within. Penoyre & amp; Prasad's design solution has found a contemporary way to connect the old and new without pastiche. Ideas inherent to Brutalist architecture - an honesty of materials and the display of structure as an architectural element - were applied to the interior and exterior of the new building. Keeping the library open throughout the works significantly influenced the design approach and construction was phased to allow students and staff continuous access to study areas and collections.


Holford's original building lacked adequate space and an appropriate main entrance for the 12,000 students using it. In design terms the regeneration of the 60s / 70s era Brutalist building required a value for money upgrade that aesthetically lifted the building whilst also dealing with functional issues of poor accessibility and typical building defects of leaking roofs, ineffective heating and substantial asbestos. Existing glazing was replaced as part of the fabric upgrade, and functional issues of poor accessibility, internal way finding and maintenance issues were resolved. The external design solution uses precast concrete fins, bronze anodised curtain walling and mesh paneling to form the extension facade and fill the brick piers of the existing building.


The interior refurbishment brings natural light into the deep building plan. Circulation has been unlocked and enhanced, flexibility and energy efficiency have been improved, and a comprehensive renewal of the internal finishes have revitalized the interior to produce a vibrant contemporary library; re-emphasizing its enduring and pivotal role in the university. The 5,400m2 new building extends the existing 12,500m2 library to provide a 250-seat lecture theater, seminar spaces and teaching suite, and exhibition, archive, conference, study and café spaces. The extension is flooded with natural daylight providing students with stunning views over Canterbury. The structural grid of large concrete coffers at roof level provide a strong internal spatial dynamic relating to the spaces below.


Externally, pre-cast concrete fins of the new extension and new entrance pick up on the language of the existing building in an elegant and refined way. The vertical rhythm of the original building piers is repeated through the frequency of the fins, however the weight of the original building and its horizontal lines are inverted through raising the fins off the ground. The shift to the vertical instead of horizontal rhythm allows the building to feel as one whole and enables the new extension to stand its ground, avoiding it feeling like a poor appendage to the original building.


The use of concrete is an important component of the building's sustainability measures. The insitu concrete frame is exposed at soffit level throughout the extension creating thermal mass which teamed with opening windows enables night-time cooling. Below ground concrete pipes provide passive cooling to the centrally located lecture theater allowing it to operate as a mixed mode ventilated space - this is quite an achievement for such a large internal space. At the façade, the pre-cast concrete fins provide shading to produce a comfortable interior environment and avoiding the need for active cooling systems. A new landscaped, raised entrance podium improves accessibility and provides a civic place for students. Improvements to the north of the building create a cultural 'avenue', linking with nearby theater and school of architecture.


“The Templeman library was the most impressive building on campus when the University was established in the 1960s, and it is fitting that as the University celebrates its 50 th anniversary we should have transformed the Templeman library. The 21 st century updated and refreshed Templeman Library has moved very significantly with the times to become an impressive modern building containing services and facilities that are equally modern, impressive and important to its current and prospective users. " John Sotillo, Director of Information Services at the University of Kent.


Material Used:

1. Decomo - Precast concrete                   

2. AD Bly - GRP void formers                 

3. Bruynzeel - Mobile shelving                     

4. EZYJamb - Doors                                   

5. Taskmaster - Doors                                   

6. Leaderflush - Screens                                

7. Kawneer - Curtain walling                       

8. Leay - Cladding                               

9. Form - Bespoke units                       

10. IDNS - AV                                        

11. Medway Fabrication - Balustrades                           

12. MJC Carpentry - Eternit board                         

13. Planet Partitioning - Glazed partitions                   

14. Roofline - Insulation                              

15. West Drylining - Acoustic panels                    

16. Decoustics - Acoustic panels                    

17. Laidlaw - Ironmongery                          

18. Kingspan access flooring - Flooring                                

19. Flowcrete - Flooring                                

20. Forbo - Flooring                                

21. CPS - Lecture theater seating           

22. British Gypsum - Interior 

This story is available in multiple languages

Golden CELLON Panels Lighting up a Library

BRUAG as Golden CELLON Panels

With the goal of creating a vibrant contemporary building for study, interaction and exploration, the responsible architectural office Penoyre & Prasad LLC approached the library extension project in Kent. To reach this aim, the architects were looking for creative solutions to capture the qualities of the building that has been built between 1965 and 1990 and at the same time giving new dynamic. After completion of the extension the building is light-flooded and the materials and colors chosen create a harmony. Golden perforated panels in large formats created a special interior architecture. The material: CELLON panels, produced customized for this project by Bruag and also equipped with an adding value: sound absorption.The combination of the perforated panel with acoustics fleece fixed to the back and the absorber behind make the solution not only suitable as design element but also helps improving room acoustics.

This story is available in multiple languages
Project Credits
Golden CELLON Panels
Lecture theatre seating
Landscape Architect
Paseo Pereda
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