Originally builty in the early 19th century as a library, the Greenwich-based centre is now also a café, gym and social space for the community.

The Plumstead Centre, located in the London borough of Greenwich, has been given a new visual identity by SEA studio.

The London-based studio is responsible for the centre’s identity, exterior and interior signage as well as a wayfinding system.

It has been unveiled with the reopening of the building, which was recently refurbished by architects Hawkins\Brown. The centre, which was originally a library, has been diversified. It is now also a café and gym and social space for the community.

The library was built in 1903 and is one of the Carnegie-funded libraries, a library built with money donated by Scottish-American businessman Andrew Carnegie.

Bryan Edmondson, creative director of SEA, tells Design Week that the ambition for the project’s legacy was based around “community”. He adds that it will hopefully “kickstart” other projects around Greenwich.

As a project, Edmondson says it was a “visual gift” as it combines typography and the rich history of a library. As it is a grade-II listed building, however, the studio didn’t want it to seem like “too much of a history lesson”. It was about taking a “reference of the typographic history” but making it “contemporary”.

As “everyone in the area knows the building”, identification was not a driving force behind the new branding. The identity did however have to unite the new services – “libraries survive in different ways now”, Edmondson adds – while keeping the library at its “heart”.

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