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In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Pencoed Library underwent its biggest transformation in ever. Inspired to create a modern and bright public facility that can be utilised by the whole community, Pencoed Library were awarded generous funding from the Welsh Government Transformation Capital Grant programme.

The project included a complete refurbishment of the ground and first floor. With plans to reconfigure the facility layout by introducing versatile areas, and contemporary amenities, Pencoed Library’s refresh is set to be the talk of the town.

Following a comprehensive process, Awen Cultural Trust – who manage a series of Libraries, including Pencoed, named Powell as the preferred supplier to complete the refurbishment, due to our success in similar projects and a close working relationship with the quantity surveyors.

Image below: Pencoed Library completed refurbishment.

Construction phase.

In collaboration with Pencoed Library’s quantity surveyors, Powell was able to deliver the project with a clear vision of success. Pencoed Library temporarily relocated, allowing Powell to begin the construction phase by recycling a large wooden reception desk, stripping out the existing flooring, demolishing partition walls, extracting old balustrades from the stairway, removing old ceiling tiles, and isolating the M&E. On-site at Pencoed Library, Powell’s Contract Manager, Nathan Jones, discusses how the renovation is set to futureproof the public facility:

“With a responsibility to be environmentally conscious, our team upgraded Pencoed Library to a new distribution board that is energy efficient, compliant with Building Regulations and compatible with soon-to-be installed solar panels on the roof. Keen to offer a flexible and accessible space, Pencoed Library underwent a full electrical re-wire, replacing existing pyro cables and introducing smaller, cleverly determined power points throughout, supporting the new design and futureproofing as consumer habits change.

Furthermore, the Powell team introduced suspended ceilings with mechanically fixed insulation slabs to the underside of the first-floor, preserving thermal energy and demonstrating Pencoed Library’s commitment to long term sustainability”.

Images below: Pencoed Library during refurbishment.

To ensure patrons of Pencoed Library had a positive initial welcome, Powell removed the partition walls situated at the entryway of the library to create a bright open space. To compliment Pencoed Library’s new layout, a large-scale meeting room with sound-proof double glazed glass partition walls was erected on the far-side of the ground floor. The meeting room sits in pride of place, benefiting from heaps of natural light and boasts capacity to accommodate large groups of people – inspiring collaborative working and can be booked in advance by the public, something which has already proven to be popular.

Leading to the first floor, the stairway required a significant update to compliment Pencoed Library’s refreshed contemporary design, whilst meeting the safety requirements. Installing chrome, metal and glass balustrades, has done just that. With the investment encouraging more visitors to Pencoed Library, Powell has ensured the refurbished stairway has durable, patterned carpets and non-slip stair nosing. Additionally, a tired, existing skylight has been given a new lease of life, thanks to carefully specified, complimentary paints and finishes which surround the glass aperture. The new work bounces light around the space so the journey from one floor to the other inspires a tower-like illusion, similar to the fairy-tale stories enclosed in the children’s books at Pencoed Library.

Nathan Jones continues:

“Powell was tasked with transforming the first floor into a haven for young people. The walls are predominantly white with the extended back wall painted in a contrasting, playful blue colour, which is durable, wipeable and ultimately, easy to maintain. The first floor is a hub has been predominantly designed for young children and their parents, and sensory stimulation has been considered and applied through the use of specialised carpet, along with other decorations. The “cloudscape” carpet tile – supplied by a renowned UK floor manufacturer – offers tonal progression (from dark tones to light), enabling Pencoed Library to uphold a playful yet calm overall visual appearance, while requiring minimal maintenance on what will no doubt be a high-traffic area. At Powell, we pride ourselves on using high-quality materials, promoting comfortable, happy and safe spaces – just like the ones we’ve created at Pencoed Library”.

Image below: Pencoed Library completed refurbishment.

The results.

With the community at the forefront of the renovation, it was important that Pencoed Library had a strategic floorplan that could be enjoyed by all demographics. Since the grand re-opening of Pencoed Library – in time for its 50th anniversary celebrations – the in-flow of visitors has been phenomenal. The refresh of Pencoed Library has seen the weekly organisation of activities, an increase in educational study-groups forming, and a positive buzz throughout the community.

Harriet Hopkins, Library Manager | Libraries Strategic Lead for Programming and Promotion explains:

“The community are really happy with the space; we’ve had wonderful responses thus far. Pencoed Library has been given a new lease of life – thanks to Powell – and we’ve seen a tremendous increase in the community utilising the space, which was our ultimate goal.”

Image below: Pencoed Library completed refurbishment.

Pencoed Library
Case study booklet
The Waterloo Foundation
fit out | refurbishment | design