The Word has set the standard for design thinking in the UK.
Executive Director, Designing Libraries
Immersive and engaging
The purity and strength of a circular building emerged from all of the influences and requirements set out by the urban grain, and the social and community ambitions. A large central atrium gives visual clarity to the scheme, allowing a grand gesture of civic quality to link all of the internal activities. This is very much an open and engaging plan, modern in its expression. It is not a temple for silence, but a place for sharing knowledge.
The Word provides a rich array of volumes over four floors, ranging from the grand social forum in the central atrium, to the most private and individually concentrated reader spaces at the perimeter of the building. A number of interactive activities are positioned close to the inner circle of the building to immediately engage visitors as they enter.
Externally, the building’s appearance is inspired by the fanning out of the pages of a book, inviting visitors to revel in all aspects of the written word in an uplifting social environment. Two large glass walls provide superb views of the River Tyne and the neighbouring Grade 1 listed Old Town Hall, two enchanting aspects of the building’s historic context.
The building’s immersive nature, diversity of choice and powerful architecture combine to create a significant and civilized building which points to the future, and underlines the importance of the library within our modern society.
Inspiring writers of all ages
Thanks to the architects, councillors and librarians who created the Word - performance space, exhibition hall and my dream library.
Mixology North Awards 2016
Public Sector Interiors Project of the Year
Living North Awards 2016
Best Regeneration or Restoration
Ambitious and rigorous geometry in South Shields
1001 libraries to see before you die
The Word – National Centre for the Written Word
The Word - FaulknerBrowns Architects
Le choix Immoweek : The Word, un nouvel écrin pour la littérature
The Word – National Centre for the Written Word / FaulknerBrowns Architects
The Word - design thinking for our time