Essex, UK

Library and Student Centre, Essex University

Our entry for an invited competition for a library extension and new student centre at this innovative and forward thinking university

Project Details

  • Location UK
  • Type New build
  • Sector Education
  • Client University of Essex
  • Services Architecture

Collective Team

Our brief included the design of a new block for traditional library store activities and a further series of digitally interactive social learning spaces.

Our approach for the traditional library was to create a singular soft glass form that quietly complemented the raw energy of the existing concrete and glass block to the south.

For the social learning spaces our approach was to blend elements of the University’s current brutalist architecture and public squares with echoes of its beautiful landscape setting and its array of trees. This led to a composition of floating flat planes screened with vertical timber enclosures which enabled agile and free flowing spaces across three levels.

A gently rising public realm passes between the two new blocks providing access through and into the new spaces and an enhancement to the whole campus.

The wellbeing of the students and staff, and an environmentally embedded design approach informed the narrative of this design of this project.

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