Cardiff Central Library

A modern 21st Century library as part of a city centre redevelopment.

A state-of-the-art 6-storey library, which forms part of the St David’s re-development scheme in Cardiff city.

The internal space, full of colour and natural light, is designed to achieve an open and legible internal environment, creating an atmosphere in which all members of the community can enjoy learning, contemplation and relaxation. The building is designed to have a different look from the rest of the development - the cladding is inspired by the random appearance of books on shelves and it has an insulating sedum grass roof.

At ground floor level are restaurants and internally all furniture was specially selected and the shelving is bespoke.

Implementing sustainable design early on enabled the delivery a BREEAM Excellent ‘rated’ building for less then 0.5% of the construction cost.


  • provide an important modern civic and landmark building
  • enhance the existing range of services on offer in Cardiff
  • environmental impact and sustainable design of paramount importance


  • a successful modern cultural venue - the City’s “public living room”
  • a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating
  • RIBA Award 2010


Location: Cardiff, Wales
Client: St David’s Partnership (A partnership between Land Securities and Capital Shopping Centres), Cardiff County Council
Construction cost: £15m
Completed: March 2009
Awards: 6

Integrated services

architecture, interior design, sustainability