The South Norwood Brutalist Library

  • Location: Lawrence Rd
  • Year Invented: 1968
  • Invention Type: Architectural
  • Inventor: Hugh Lea

This library was built in the Brutalist style adding an architectural gem to the high street.

Architect Hugh Lea, who had just completed work on the infamous Taberner house, first began working on the design of the modernist library in South Norwood in 1967.
When it was completed in 1968, it was clear to see that the simple structure and concrete block facade were inspired by the Brutalist architecture popular in 1950’s Britain.
Understandably Bridget Cherry (former editor of the ‘Pevsner Architectural’ guides) remembers fondly it causing “quite an impact in the street”. The building interior inhabits three levels with floor to ceiling windows which flood the space with natural light.


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