Ken Norrish: Norrish Central Library, 1970D–1976

  • Portsmouth, Great Britain, Show on map
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  • The Norrish Central Library’s dramatic curving form and strong concrete towers are clearly reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum (1959), which Norrish visited before design work started. The building has two faces: the billowing library floors and the administration block with its dramatic dark glass entrance framed by two ribbed concrete staircase stacks. One has a modelled head, echoing the Brutalist Tricorn Centre by Owen Luder and Rodney Gordon. Excerpt from Celia Clark’s article in: SOS Brutalism: A Global Survey. Catalog DAM + Wüstenrot Foundation, Zurich (Park Books) 2017

  • Today, the library is used much less than it had been. While book issue figures have dropped, other services have devel- oped in the Central Library to meet public demand, including the History Centre and archive.