Finsbury Library , London

Emberton, Franck & Tardew
Date Built
St John's Street
Finsbury Library was conceived as a cultural centre and book headquarters for the whole Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury. 

It was built as part of the Finsbury Estate that it sits in front of on St John's Street.  The website says of it that, "... The plan is consequently on a more ambitious scale than the average branch library, with a lecture hall among various ancillary rooms. The convex front to St John Street is like an elongated version of the Finsbury Health Centre, with added colour. Free-standing pilotis clad in blue glass mosaic carry a projecting upper storey defined by a frame in faience, within which broad strips of black mosaic alternate with windows over aggregate panels. An oversailing roof drops from front to back. Mosaics in further vivid hues continue on the underside of the entrance canopy and the walls of the outer foyer. Within the spacious main library is a shallow, toplit barrel vault. .....

..... The plaque commemorating the library's opening by the Minister of Power, Richard Marsh, in March 1967, refers specifically to C. L. Franck as its architect."

An article in the Finsbury Gazette in 2016, following a refurbishment project at the library, said this of the building, "... Finsbury Library, in St John's Street, has been improved with better shelving and improved seating, study space and power sockets.  It is also the home to Islington Museum, .....

(as well as) the Local History Centre, the Ben Kinsella Exhibition, the Islington Computer Skills Centre and the area Housing Office. It has free wi-fi and computer access.  Cllr Asima Shaikh, Islington’s executive member for economic and community development, said: 'Thanks to these improvement works, it’s now even easier for local people to come in and work, to go online and get the information they need.  Finsbury Library is much more than just a building with books. It’s a hub of south Islington’s community. A place where people can access different worlds: through its museums and exhibitions, through its computers and online services, or through its rich range of books and stories, music and DVDs.  I’m grateful for the patience of all those who were affected while we carried out these essential works to make one of our most popular libraries better than it was before.'"

Close Window