A four storey extension expands the existing library into a learning centre with IT facilities, a media suite, language centre and teaching rooms. The new build element is a simple rectilinear form, easily adaptable to a range of functions. It is separated from the existing building by a long, full-height “atrium” that helps orientation and provides stack effect ventilation.
The 3m cube structural grid of the existing building is continued, providing a strong rhythm to the lightweight cladding. The facade is further articulated by louvres and a glass brise soleil at ground floor and is “contained” by red brick panels at each end. The extension was constructed while the existing library remained open and acted as decant space whilst the latter was re-modelled.
"The result is a robust stimulating environment providing good modern resources for staff and students alike."
Architecture Today, July 1999