The History

The grade II listed Swansea Central Library was designed by Henry Holtom in the Italian classical style and was opened in 1887 by Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone.

The building became a favourite haunt of Dylan Thomas and was used as a location in Peter Sellers' 1960 film Only Two Can Play, as well as later by the BBC for a number of Doctor Who episodes.

The library closed in November 2007, but the redevelopment, initially by owners Swansea Metropolitan University and completed by The University of Wales, has seen the building re-emerge as The Alex Design Exchange.



The new roof

The roof renewal required over 600m2 of Marley-Eternit Rivendale fibre cement slates, 170m2 of which were laid to a curve (over the Round Reading Room), as well as 250m2 of sheet lead and 650m of lead flashings.

The £160,000 roofing contract was completed in March 2015.

The completed building provides academic accommodation for the School of Design and Applied Arts, the Institute of Sustainable Design and the Architectural Glass Centre.

It is hoped that this new landmark will assist in consolidating the renaissance of Swansea's historic arts quarter.