Lambeth Palace Library in London. Courtesy Picture Plane.

Lambeth Palace Library



Thornton Tomasetti is providing façade engineering services for a new building located on the south bank of the River Thames in the grounds of the Grade I-listed Lambeth Palace, home of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The building will house the second-largest religious collection in Europe, after the Vatican’s, with records stretching back to the medieval age. Working with the Church Commissioners for England, we are assisting the Architect to design a building envelope to provide safe and durable conservation and storage facilities for the unique collection of more than 200,000 books and manuscripts.

In particular, Thornton Tomasetti has carried out a detailed thermal study on the façade to demonstrate that the static thermal performances of the façade and wall constructions meet the target performance criteria, as well as assessing the risk of interstitial and surface condensation in the years following construction. We have analysed the construction materials and proposed methodology, paying particular attention to the drying out of the building and its ability to maintain suitable internal conditions during its operation. We have established locations and technical performances of vapour control layers and waterproof/breathable membranes in the construction and provided recommendations to their use.

The project aims to achieve a target of zero carbon emissions while at the same time maintaining a well-controlled space for the conservation and display of artifacts and book collections.

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Brick & Terracotta

Terracotta and brick façades can impart a timeless aesthetic to a building’s vocabulary. For designers who want to marry this aesthetic with new forms, façade systems that use these materials, but with better performance and at a fraction of the weight, are often the solution. Our engineers are experienced in the design of these systems. We have a thorough understanding of these systems, whether used in a traditional cavity wall, as rainscreen cladding or as a high-performing panelized system. The result is a façade that unites classical language with new technology.