The Plumstead Centre

The Plumstead Centre project, commissioned by the Royal Borough of Greenwich, saw the 1903-built Grade II-listed Plumstead Library, one of the original Carnegie-funded public libraries, transformed into a new social destination for the local community, with accessibility for all.

MZA was appointed as part of the RIBA Stage 4 design team to deliver the MEP and Acoustic designs, including BIM Level 2 and Revit. Our design integrated modern MEP services into an existing building with listed elements, which required a high level of detailing during the design stage. The design also included the use of thermodynamic modelling for the building’s energy assessment and Building Regulations compliance, and we carried out dynamic simulation to establish true building cooling loads. The building achieved BREEAM 2014 Very Good and an EPC rating B. Our acoustic team provided design advice on the internal acoustics of the performance spaces, control of plant noise emissions and monitored noise and vibration levels through the construction due to proximity to neighbours and sensitive infrastructure in the vicinity of the site.

The new complex includes a modern extension at the rear of the historic Grade II Listed original building. The redevelopment has preserved and enhanced the historic character of the old library building, with the interior refurbishment bringing it in line with modern standards, including upgraded amenities throughout. The extension was constructed in the same materials as the library, with brick, glass and metal creating a modern building that is sympathetic to its neighbour. Library, leisure and cultural facilities are now combined under one roof and new amenities include separate children’s and adults’ libraries, a new café, flexible collaboration space, a gym and badminton court, and two large studios for performing arts, yoga, or exhibitions.

Photography by Jack Hobhouse (