The project comprised an extension to the award-winning 1975 University Library, doubling its size, and an extensive remodelling of the original building.
Four atria spaces were created linked by an internal multi-level street, providing an intuitive plan. Noise breakout is controlled by book stacks and enclosed study rooms positioned between circulation spaces and readers.
Following extensive consultation with students and academic staff, the key design priorities were: the introduction of fresh air and natural light; a seamless extension; ease of navigation; provision of key services, such a photocopying, on all floors; creation of a range of study environments including group study facilities; a designated study area for postgraduate students; self-service; a building that, through design, encouraged good behaviours; a cafe; a welcoming and modern ambience.
1. RIBA National Award, 2009, 2. RIBA East Midlands Award for Architecture, 2008, 3. British Council of Offices Regional Award for Refurbished/Recycled Workplace, 4. Leicestershire Property and Construction Awards, Building of the Year 2008 , 5. Leicester Civic Society Award 2008, 6. IStructE Structural Awards. Midlands Counties Branch Public Sector Award, 2008, 7. BREEAM 'Excellent' award
Type of library
Features and services
Cafe/refreshment areas, Exhibition/display areas, Group study spaces, Hosting of other agencies, Meeting rooms, Public address system, Retail outlets, Specialist subject collections, Teaching rooms
Art works, Nature of site, Materials
Design features, Security, Structural
Control mechanisms, Energy conservation, Heating, Lighting, Materials used, Structural factors, Ventilation
Access between floors, Access to building, Access within building, Assistive technology, Critical distances, Furniture height
Atkinson Contracts, Emergent Crown, Go Modern, N E J Stevenson, Vitra
Services and facilities suppliers
Nordplan, 3M, Sentry
Electronic information displays, Internet access, Laptop points, Public access terminals, RFID, Self service circulation, WiFi