schmidt hammer lassen architects: university of aberdeen new library
schmidt hammer lassen architects: university of aberdeen new library schmidt hammer lassen architects: university of aberdeen new library
sep 24, 2012
schmidt hammer lassen architects: university of aberdeen new library


‘university of aberdeen new library’ by schmidt hammer lassen architects, aberdeen, UK
image © schmidt hammer lassen architects
all images courtesy of schmidt hammer lassen architects

officially opened by queen elizabeth II and the duke of edinburgh, the ‘university of aberdeen new library’ designed by
danish practice schmidt hammer lassen architects is now complete in arberdeen, scotland. established in 1495,
the campus is the world’s fifth oldest english language university and the collection includes 250,000 books and manuscripts.
this 15,500 square meter facility accommodates 14,000 students with 1,200 reading spaces, archives, historical collections
and a room for rare books.

a ground floor lounge and cafe will host exhibitions, seminars and poetry readings. above the common area,
wavering contours are cut into each floor plate forming a central atrium which spirals through to the roof. eight stories of
organic and diversely-shaped voids contrast the exterior’s crisp rectilinear lines. the patterning on the facade creates
a ratio of 50% transparent and opaque panes to control solar gain and heat loss.


rectilinear exterior
image © schmidt hammer lassen architects


image © schmidt hammer lassen architects


scottish wall base
image © schmidt hammer lassen architects


approach to main entrance
image © schmidt hammer lassen architects


facade has 50% transparent and opaque panels
images © schmidt hammer lassen architects


lobby + cafe
image © schmidt hammer lassen architects


view of lobby from 1st floor
images © schmidt hammer lassen architects


view looking downward of spiraling atrium
image © schmidt hammer lassen architects


upwar view of spiraling atrium
image © schmidt hammer lassen architects


a different organically-shaped void within each floor plate creates the shifting atrium
images © schmidt hammer lassen architects


view of levels with book stacks
image © schmidt hammer lassen architects


image © schmidt hammer lassen architects


perimeter study space
image © schmidt hammer lassen architects


upward view of spiraling atrium
image © schmidt hammer lassen architects


transparent roof filters daylight into the central atrium
image © schmidt hammer lassen architects


view from surrounding context
image © schmidt hammer lassen architects


image © schmidt hammer lassen architects


facade at dusk
image © schmidt hammer lassen architects


site plan
1. new library
2. secret garden
3. amphitheatre / library garden
4. public square
5. fraser noble building
6. meston building
7. central refectory, ‘hub’
8. town house
9. new kings
10. chapel
11. kings college, sports ground
12. university office


floor plan / level 0
1. entrance
2. foyer
3. cafe
4. exhibition area
5. print shop

6. control point
7. lifts
8. stairs
9. toilets


floor plan / level 2
1. study space
2. seminar room
3. work room
4. group study space
5. office
6. atrium
7. lifts
8. stairs
9. toilets
10. information


floor plan / level 6
1. general library
2. quiet area
3. work room
4. group study space
5. office
6. atrium
7. lifts
8. stairs
9. toilets


section
1. library
2. public area
3. main entrance
4. exhibition area
5. reading room
6. atrium


section
1. library
2. library garden
3. amphitheatre
4. axhibition area
5. archive
6. atrium
7. lifts
8. secret garden
9. conservation suite
10. reading room


elevation
1. library
2. secret garden
3. library garden


elevation
1. academic plaza
2. amphitheatre / library garden
3. main entrance

project info:

architect: schmidt hammer lassen architects
client: university of aberdeen
area: 15,500 m2
construction sum: 40 million EUR excl. vat
competition: 2005, 1st prize in restricted international competition
status: construction period 2009 – 2011
engineer: arup & partners ltd
quantity surveyors: davis langdon llp
landscape architect: schmidt hammer lassen architects

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