About the project
The University required an additional six Reading Rooms for the existing Library. Studio Four undertook a Feasibility Study and investigated various options and locations. The Library is at the heart of the existing campus, on a steep slope and surrounded by other buildings, so the options had to consider the practicalities of construction as well as accessibility and functional relationships.
A suitable option was agreed that stacked 6 Reading Rooms alongside the existing Reference area, two on each floor, in an existing courtyard. Whilst obtaining Planning permission, Studio Four investigated the relative benefits of traditional, modular and SIPs panel construction, as access to the proposed site was extremely restricted and steep. A light steel frame combined with structural SIPs panels was eventually selected and the contractor was able to carry all materials to site manually, avoiding cranage.
As well as daylight, acoustic and book security issues, the building had to address spread off fire from adjacent buildings and an existing fire exit route had to be maintained.
The external elevations playfully brighten up this relatively bland corner of the campus.