Schmidt Hammer Lassen, Hawkins\Brown and BuroHappold Design New Library for The University of Bristol

Planning application has just been submitted for a new landmark library, for the University of Bristol. The latest addition, designed by a collaborative team formed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen, Hawkins\Brown and BuroHappold, is set to transform the heart of the campus.

© Hawkins\Brown & Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Located on the corner of Elton Road and Woodland Road, the new architecturally significant building will be open for the wider community with a ground floor accessible to all, accommodating exhibition galleries, an events space, a programme of activities, new public art and a café. The project will include “learning and research space, with capacity for around 2,000 new study seats, approximately 420,000 books and 70,000 journals and new study spaces”.

This inspirational new landmark for Bristol will provide world-class facilities in an inclusive and welcoming environment. The new library building has the potential to transform the relationship between the University of Bristol and the wider city, extending a welcome to the public and acting as a gateway to the revitalised Clifton Campus. -- Adam Cossey, Partner at Hawkins\Brown.

© Hawkins\Brown & Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Replacing a former hotel that houses some student accommodation, catering facilities and various offices, the new library will take on a modern yet conservative aspect with the use of natural stone, “keeping with the historic nature of listed buildings nearby”. Integrated with the local built environment, the project will follow current sustainability standards, “with a focus on natural light, a high level of energy efficiency, a low environmental impact, and green roof terraces”.

While we set out to create a contemporary design that echoes a sense of civic dignity imbued with timeless sculptural qualities, the new library is also deeply contextual and deliberately responsive to the historical environment of Bristol. […] Having worked closely with the University stakeholders, the library provides archive space for priceless physical collections while offering a social platform for study, exchange of ideas, and meetings between people. -- Kasper Frandsen, Partner at Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects.

© Hawkins\Brown & Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

On another hand, while public consultation has helped shape this building, the intervention will also provide the city with improved external public spaces and infrastructure, creating a new civic square, new road layouts to improve traffic flow and public transport, enhanced pedestrian and cycling routes, in order to make the whole area safer and accessible for everyone.

Central to our engineering response was the University’s requirement to achieve a truly sustainable building, promoting health and wellbeing, while meeting their ambition of moving towards a zero-carbon future. […] Floor to ceiling windows and an atrium at the heart of the space maximises natural daylight and views to the study spaces, promoting social connectivity. Suspended ceilings have been omitted in order to expose the elegant structure and utilise the thermal mass of the concrete frame to provide climate change resilience. […] Extensive building modelling has been undertaken to optimise passive and active environmental strategies and analyse a variety of future usage scenarios. The building will transform the student experience and enhance community engagement and become an exemplar of sustainable and healthy building performance. -- Dr Mike Entwisle, Partner and Global Education Sector Lead, BuroHappold Engineering.

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Cite: Christele Harrouk. "Schmidt Hammer Lassen, Hawkins\Brown and BuroHappold Design New Library for The University of Bristol " 10 Feb 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

© Hawkins\Brown & Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects


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