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New building for Acton’s Caspian Cultural Centre to celebrate and learn about Persian culture

A new home for the Caspian Cultural Centre (CCC) and the Library for Iranian studies in Acton designed by GRID Architects has received planning permission from Ealing Council which will see under one roof a building holding more than 50,000 books and manuscripts as well as a state of the art cultural centre celebrating Persian culture.

The new Centre, which celebrates Persian architectural style, fulfils a vision its founders and trustees have had for many years to become “a state-of-the art cultural centre for the Persian and East Asian diaspora in the UK”.

The Caspian Cultural Centre and the Library of Iranian Studies is run as a charity and the Centre replaces existing premises in Crowne Street next to Woodlands Park where it has been based in Acton for over 30 years.

When it started in 1991, the library held 2500 books and in 1994 it was able to move to its present location and has had ambitions to become “a state-of-the art cultural centre for the Persian and East Asian diaspora in the UK”.

The library itself is said to now have the largest collection of books and manuscripts outside of the region.

The new building will include a ground floor cafe and library spaces that can be utilised for functions. The first floor will offer more library space, a seminar room and research and reading areas while the basement will contain book archives.

Above the centre will be student accommodation featuring a 105 student rooms consisting of flats and studios.

Laurence Osborn, Director at GRID Architects said: “After 18 long months, this planning success is the result of extended discussions with a wide range of stakeholders, and a client who had the vision to develop a visibly inviting building that will bring significant benefits the community, including local businesses and the student population. Our design does this and helps to raise the profile of the charitable trust and safely secure the future of its historic and culturally valuable collection.”

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