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We are looking for innovative architects to design a stand-alone, purpose-built library in the heart of Southmere Village in London's new town, Thamesmead.

The new civic building will be located to the south side of Southmere Lake within 10 minutes’ walk of the new Elizabeth line at Abbey Wood station (opening December 2018).

The new state-of-the-art building will service the needs of new, existing and future generations of the community living in the area, with a 21st Century library and learning space to the ground floor, with the potential to accommodate other civic functions including learning and health and well-being on its upper floor(s).

Southmere Village is the first phase of the South Thamesmead and Abbey Wood Housing Zone which is one of two Housing Zones being delivered in Thamesmead by Peabody with £47.5m investment from the Greater London Authority. The Housing Zones are led by the London Borough of Bexley and Royal Borough of Greenwich.

As lead architect for the Abbey Wood and South Thamesmead Housing Zone, Proctor & Matthews Architects oversaw design evolution to the planning stage, ensuring high quality design in the homes, public realm, commercial units and community space. The scheme which gained planning consent also included proposals for a new library within a public square bordering the south side of Southmere Lake, with designs developed in response to an initial brief.

Further development of the brief for the building has identified the opportunity to provide additional civic space on the upper floor(s) of the building - which did not form part of the original brief - to future-proof the facility and recognising the potential for increased community involvement.


Site, building and history

Procurement procedure

Stage one

Stage two


The competition is being administered by RIBA Competitions. All enquiries relating to the general conditions of this competition should be emailed to [email protected] and contain ‘Southmere Village Library Design Competition’ in the subject box.

Please note

Members of the Evaluation Panel and Client body representatives should not be solicited for information as this may lead to disqualification from the competition. Candidates should refer to the Procurement Timetable regarding the latest deadline by which to raise queries.

The intention will be to make advice arising from queries received available to all Candidates via the e-mail address, where doing so is in the interest of maintaining transparency and fairness in the procedure, and would not constitute a breach of commercial confidentiality.