The Norfolk & Norwich Millennium Project replaced the Norwich Central Library, which was destroyed by fire. The development features a Multi-Media Auditorium, Business & Learning Centre, Tourist Information & Visitor’s Centre, along with Cafes, Restaurants, Open Spaces and underground Car Parking for 240 vehicles. It is also the BBC’s Regional Headquarters.
R G Carter were appointed as Principal Contractor after submitting a tender in competition with several national contractors. The project has received many awards over the years including the Urban Design Award from the 2003 Civic Trust Awards and Best Structural Use of Brick from the 2004 BDA Brick Awards.
The brief called for a fitting landmark for the Millennium in the heart of the city, which would be the centre of knowledge, information and learning in the region. Built on adjoining sites The Forum now creates a complete block surrounded by the City Hall, the Theatre Royal, the Assembly Rooms and the Church of St Peter’s Mancroft.
The horseshoe form of the building creates a series of different spaces to house the various users.
The semi-circular end encloses the library and provides continuous elevation to the west, while the eastern end opens to St Peter’s Mancroft and the city through a spectacular glazed wall.
Behind it, within the horseshoe, is the main atrium space, effectively the city’s new covered civic space, where the public can meet, linger in the café and orientate themselves before using the building’s more formal facilities.