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Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries gear up for public unveil

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April 6 2017

Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries gear up for public unveil
Richard Murphy Architects have marked practical completion of a 2,300sq/m extension to the world’s first Carnegie Library as the star attraction of Dunfermline’s Heritage Quarter, ahead of its public opening on 18 May.

The Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries includes a new museum, exhibition galleries, local studies centre, a large modern children’s library and a mezzanine café set amidst a landscaped garden within the grounds of Dunfermline Abbey.

Blending three separate buildings; the 1833 Carnegie Library, retained façade of a Commerical Bank of Scotland building and new build extension, the project will tell the story of Dunfermline’s history as an ancient capital.

Richard Murphy commented: “The building was a considerable challenge. We needed to fit onto a restricted site many different and unique facilities alongside and linked to the existing historic library and of course the new building is placed right in the epicentre of the conservation area in the centre of Dunfermline.

“Internally the new facilities are organised around a dramatic internal street and a journey upwards. The street orientates everyone and the journey progressively visits every new facility as well as eventually linking back in to rooms within the original library. Archive reading room, café, children’s library, galleries and museum all have different but carefully designed views of the garden created alongside the new building as well as focussed views of the Abbey, Abbott’s House and the wider historic town centre.”

The Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries is amongst 27 buildings in the running for a RIAS/RIBA award.
Heritage will be brought to life via film, interviews and computer games
Heritage will be brought to life via film, interviews and computer games
The heritage quarter includes Dunfermline Abbey Church, Dunfermline Abbey, Dunfermline Palace, Abbot House and Andrew Carnegie’s Birthplace Museum
The heritage quarter includes Dunfermline Abbey Church, Dunfermline Abbey, Dunfermline Palace, Abbot House and Andrew Carnegie’s Birthplace Museum

6 Comments

boaby wan
#1 Posted by boaby wan on 6 Apr 2017 at 11:31 AM
1833 to 1983
Am I the only person thinking that Murphy's work is starting to look of a certain vintage and just picking from a palette of standard details?
This seems almost like a caricature of itself
David
#2 Posted by David on 6 Apr 2017 at 11:49 AM
He certainly has his own style. Externally though I think it's a success, with an exciting playfulness, however I find the interior atrium extremely depressing and claustrophobic, and I suspect this will be a real disappointment for anyone visiting the building given the promise made by the exterior.
Ken
#3 Posted by Ken on 6 Apr 2017 at 13:25 PM
Although I appreciate the craftsmanship of Murphy's buildings, I always get what I can only describe as a feeling of claustrophobia about them. There just seems to be too much going on for the sizes of the building and spaces
Bob, Agg and Willie
#4 Posted by Bob, Agg and Willie on 6 Apr 2017 at 14:09 PM
Given the restrictive site, was never going to be an expansive atrium, but does exactly what it needs to.
I don't think RMA's larger projects are always as successful as their smaller commissions as their fastidious attention to detail gets lost at scale, however this one's a cracker!
Butalissimo
#5 Posted by Butalissimo on 6 Apr 2017 at 15:41 PM
What is going on with the landscape? Knot-edging straight off the shelf of the local B&Q, espalier trees, huge block of monoculture planting, sculptures set in sewer rings... total mish-mash.
Ian
#6 Posted by Ian on 6 Apr 2017 at 20:42 PM
I hope this development gives Dunfermline's town centre a real boost. I visited recently for the first time in years and it is the usual story of empty shops, cheap shops and charity units, like so many town centres in Scotland.

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