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Main Library, University of Edinburgh

Remodeling of a Grade A Listed building

  • 30K

    Square Metres

  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom

    Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Designed to accommodate two million books, 2,500 users, and 100 staff in over seven floors

The University of Edinburgh’s main library building is considered one of the finest pieces of modernist architecture in the country and is grade A listed. Over the years there had been some reorganisation of accommodation, but generally the building was in its original condition—and showing signs of age.

We were required to remodel the building to reflect current and future needs at the same time ensuring that, while building works were being undertaken, the library could remain in use throughout. Additionally, careful consideration had to be given to security of the stock. The requirement to remain operational throughout led to the project being phased over seven years.

The extensive works included repairs to the fabric of the building, renovation of finishes, and the complete renewal of all building services. A new Special Collections, Archive, and Research Centre area was formed on the top two floors and later phases included the remodelling of the entrance area, formation of a 220-seat cafe with internet facilities, and the insertion of a mezzanine gallery and exhibition space. 

At a Glance

  • University of Edinburgh
Lewis & Hickey Architects

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