Case studies


Plymouth City Council
South West

Public Sector
Project Size:
11,500 Sq ft
Project Value:
£1.4 m
28 weeks
Space planning
Interior design
Audio visual
Read the brief & results
"Claremont has really taken the time to understand us – not just what we need to deliver from our public services and facilities, but how we work and what we expect from our suppliers and partners." Chris Coldwell, Senior Project Manager

The brief

Claremont’s brief was to deliver the Council’s vision for a modern open and welcoming library space that supports its primary function of book lending and includes useful PC workstations too. In particular, Claremont was asked to work within the building’s existing structure to ensure the most cost effective solution. Claremont supported the Council in all aspects of the work, starting with clarifying its spatial needs and showcasing three separate functional layouts and uses. The full programme of work included space planning, exterior works, design, fit-out and furniture installation.

The results

The team has created a bright, modern and open plan library with a ‘meet and greet’ point, a central café and several meeting and training rooms, as well as ample shelving and storage for books and an external decked terrace. The space has been designed to promote ease of movement throughout, with natural flow between the different areas. The installation of two lifts aids movement between the floors.

The delivery of such a fit-for-purpose and flowing space was made possible thanks to the extensive space assessment undertaken at the outset of the project. Claremont’s team worked closely with the Council to secure the planning consent needed to link two neighbouring buildings – Taylor Maxwell House on Armada Way and the former Cornwall College premises on Mayflower Street – to create the space needed for the library.

To ensure the building’s refurbishment was completely fit-for-purpose, work was also carried out to improve the building’s two entrances – including the provision of ramps, handrails and automatic sliding doors as well as new shop frontages and the replacement of windows.

Claremont delivered all aspects of the building modifications and fit-out, ready for library design specialist The Design Concept to design and install new library shelving, loose furniture and seating. Claremont managed the furniture installation, ensuring details such as location, access to power and finishes were agreed and in keeping with the building’s overall fit-out scheme. Claremont also developed a bespoke joinery package to help the Council maximise available space, which included PC workstations, fitted benches and decorative oval touchdown tables.

Claremont’s design solution maximises the 11,500 sq ft space and three floors within the two buildings, containing a deceptively large capacity of book shelving and storage in an airy, open plan space, interspersed with meeting areas and PC workstations.

This was Claremont’s fourth design and build project for Plymouth City Council, having recently completed the fit-out of the second and third floors of Taylor Maxwell House to create a contact and call centre.


Claremont has really taken the time to understand us – not just what we need to deliver from our public services and facilities, but how we work and what we expect from our suppliers and partners. The team has delivered the new library to an exceptionally high standard and has given us the community-focused, modern and accessible facility that the people of Plymouth need, both on time and to budget.

Chris Coldwell
Senior Project Manager, Plymouth City Council
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