Skip to main content
Start of main content

Cameron Smail Library, Heriot-Watt University

Listed library building refurbishment

  • £6M

    Construction Value

  • Edinburgh, Scotland

    Edinburgh, Scotland

Student success doesn’t need a new building, it needs the right refurbishments

The Cameron Smail Library, a listed building, was designed by Sir Basil Spence Architects and built in 1974. The design is based on large open-plan floor plates with a central core for books and perimeter study spaces. The building construction is generally comprised of an in-situ reinforced concrete frame supported on-pad foundations.

We were involved in early feasibility options for transitioning the existing library building into a modern, flexible, and comfortable environment. This included looking at options for a new-build facility, extensions to the existing facility, and refurbishment of the existing building. Detailed design of the chosen refurbishment option included assessment of the existing floors to support compact and movable shelving.

Heriot-Watt University’s chosen solution involves refurbishment of the existing building internally throughout. External works consist of the replacement of all windows and an improved entrance area. The construction works were carried out over five phases, with the library remaining live—and open 24/7—throughout the duration of the works. Full strip out and replacement of mechanical and electrical services is included, however central plant equipment will be retained and reused.

The scheme will update the existing facilities and enhance the student experience of a key building within the campus. The refurbishment will provide a very comfortable study space to support the students’ academic success and growth.

At a Glance

  • Lewis Hickey Architects
Expert Spotlight

Martin Dix, Director, Buildings

We work with great clients on complex buildings—positively contributing to society while learning, evolving, and educating along the way.

Martin Dix

Director, Buildings

We're better together

  • Become a client

    Partner with us today to change how tomorrow looks. You’re exactly what’s needed to help us make it happen in your community.

    Contact Us
  • Design your career

    Work with passionate people who are experts in their field. Our teams love what they do and are driven by how their work makes an impact on the communities they serve.

    Join the Team
End of main content
To top