St Aidan’s Group of Companies

Lead Architect

James Dinwiddie

Construction Cost



Planning Approval granted January 2008

Site Area / Building Area

1,460sqm / 2,100sqm

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Grove Vale, East Dulwich, London SE22

This awkward site located adjacent to the elevated railway lines is currently used as a garden centre. The site is pinched in the middle like a bow tie and rises significantly along Railway Rise.

To overcome the problems of the shape of the site and the environmental impact of the railway, the design developed around two naturally-lit and ventilated semi-public spaces to provide access, light, and open space. The public library is prominently located on the Grove Vale elevation, adjacent to the station entrance. The design is conceived as a series of levels, like ‘strata’, modelled to the physical constraints of the site.  The strata are expressed in copper sheet, with recessed walls in glass and cedar boarding.