Canada Water Library, designed by Piers Gough of CZWG Architects, has won a London regional award from the Royal Institute of British Architects.
The judges said:
The library was built as the civic centerpiece for the regeneration of the area around Canada Water and as a focus for the community. Southwark Council, which is building libraries while other boroughs are closing theirs, saw that by adding a performance space, education and meeting rooms and a café to the Library, it was better serving the needs and aspirations of residents. And it seems to be working.
The perforated, anodised aluminium cladding shimmers in the sunlight and mimics the ripples of the water that it sits beside.
The children were brought to London by the ROKPA charity, which runs the orphanage in Kathmandu where the kids have been looked after, cared for and educated after becoming homeless in often very traumatic circumstances.
The evening started off with a moving speech by the co-founder of ROKPA and vice-president of the charity Lea Wyler. She explained how much it has helped the children to be given a platform to tell of their traumatic experiences in the form of song, dance and play.
The children’s lively eyes, engaging smiles and faces full of hope could not fail to melt every one of the 120 hearts in the room. Photographs and film footage projected onto a screen behind the young performers provided the context to their story showing shots of their home country and also of what their lives were like before they were taken in by the ROKPA children’s home.
After the tumultuous applause had quietened down, Dr Akong Tulku Rinpoche the founder of Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland, and co-founder of the ROKPA charity was invited onto the stage. He spoke of his own struggles of facing a situation of near-starvation when he escaped Tibet, having to beg and experiencing tremendous suffering and explained how that has lead him to see how important it is to provide, food, shelter and, possibly above all, much-needed kindness.
Dr Amanda Squires, founder of the ‘What’s on in Rotherhithe’ Group and the driving force behind the production of the popular Rotherhithe map guide, receives the OBE for services to healthcare for older people in her professional capacity as a physiotherapist.
Her husband, Dr Roger Squires, former deputy national chairman of the Inland Waterways Association, receive the British Empire Medal for services to Inland Waterways.
Prem Goyal, a trustee of Time & Talents, receives the OBE.
Southwark resident Lionel Shriver – author of the million selling We Need to Talk About Kevin – enthralled the audience at a packed Canada Water Library on Monday.
Lionel talked about her latest novel The New Republic – published last week – with its twin themes of terrorism and the mystery of charisma. After reading from the book, Lionel took part in a lively question and answer session with the audience of over 100 fans, talking about the writing process and sharing her entertaining thoughts on other writers and literary critics. After the event Lionel signed copies of her books.
The bestselling author said that the new Canada Water Library was “…a terrific place – and my local library!” Lionel went on to describe the library’s own theatre, the Canada Water Culture Cpace, as “a fantastic venue with a really professional setup”.
Southwark Council has published an update on plans to relocate Cherry Garden School to the Gloucester Primary School site in SE15.
The opening of the expanded Cherry Garden School has now been delayed till September 2015.
If you’re interested in local history, Peter Snow’s programme about Docklands tonight on BBC One promises to include a section on Greenland Dock.
Booker Prize winner Ben Okri was the latest leading literary figure to speak at Canada Water Library.
Ben Okri read passages from Wild – his first collection of poetry in more than a decade. The evening was well attended my local residents as well as fans eager to hear from the celebrated author.
“Canada Water Library is fast becoming one of London’s best known literary hotspots attracting some of the country’s most talented, gifted and popular writers,” says Cllr Veronica Ward, Southwark’s cabinet member for culture.
“The library is very popular with residents in the area and beyond and has had tens of thousands of visitors since it opened last year.”
On Monday Southwark resident Lionel Shriver will be speaking at the library.
On Saturday 2 June residents of Stevenson Crescent and Catlin Street held a street party to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
“The mood was brilliant and the event went very well thanks to support from housing associations, The Hyde Group, Notting Hill, Hexagon and Housing For Women, along with enthusiastic residents who worked tirelessly to make it fun for everyone,” said Jean Douglas, Hyde’s regeneration coordinator for Bermondsey Spa.
“Of all the events we have held at Stevenson Crescent, this was the one that brought so many residents out onto the street to join in and get to know each other. It was great to see so many new faces.”
The event saw more than 30 children make bunting and decorations for the gazebo, which Hyde resident, Irene Hurley sewed together. The Pye (Positive Youth Expression) Project provided the music and DJ-ing workshops turning it into a hugely festive occasion which they also videoed.
Resident Sharine Goring said: “I’m so glad so many residents joined in and we’ve been able to see what was just an idea turn into a fabulous event.”
Tracy Berry added: “It was well organised and I’m glad to have been a part of this; we can do more like this.”