WAN Awards 2015


WAN Mobile
WAN Mobile
Previous Next

University of Aberdeen New Library, Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Wednesday 14 Oct 2009

Illuminating landmark

Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 1

Add comments | More comments

20/10/09 no name, no town
Love the space... but get a more extensive entourage library please. Takes away from your credibility.


Historic university set for modern cultural landmark building 

The University of Aberdeen is the fifth oldest English-language University in the world. Established in 1495, it houses over a quarter of a million books and manuscripts. The new library, set for completion in 2011 and designed by schmidt hammer lassen architects, will service a community of 14,000 students. The 15,500 sq m of floor-space will accommodate 1,200 reading spaces, archives, historical collections and a rare books reading room.

A new public square is an integral part of the design, linking the university and the city and forming one end of an east-west axis across the university campus. The Academic Square will generate a sense of cohesion between the university and the surrounding non-academic community.

Sitting on a base of Scottish stone, the library is designed to be welcoming - the ground floor, with lounge and café areas, will host regular exhibitions, seminars and poetry readings. The atrium’s vast spiralling volume, reminiscent of Leeser Architecture's Helix hotel design for Abu Dhabi, connects all eight storeys. With its sweeping contours and organic form, this space, unlike the Helix, contrasts with the clean cut exterior profile.

The building is designed to minimize long term running costs and energy use. Consisting of an irregular pattern of insulated panels and high performance glazing, the façade will shimmer during the day and glow softly at night, creating a luminous landmark for Aberdeen.

Key Facts

Status Design
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
schmidt hammer lassen architects

More projects by this architect

Halifax Central Library

Christchurch New Central Library

Island School

Ningbo New Library

Vendsyssel Theatre and Experience Centre

Shanghai West Bund Biennial Pavilions

Urban Mountain

Green Valley

Ny Anstalt

International Criminal Court

Helsingborg Hospital

Cathedral of Northern Lights

New Cultural Centre and Library

IBC Innovation Factory

Sir Duncan Rice Library, University of Aberdeen

Aalborg University Hospital

Warsaw Office Tower

Campus Aarhus N, VIA University College

City of Westminster College

Halifax Central Library

Brørup Sparekasse

National Centre for Health and Wellbeing at the Australian Catholic University

University of Aberdeen New Library

Kolding Hospital


International Criminal Court, ICC

Hörsaalzentrum RWTH

Thor Heyerdahl College


Thor Heyerdahl School of Advanced and Further Education

Hörsaalzentrum Auditorium complex

District Court

Creative Industries Quarter

Urban Mediaspace

Horsens master plan

Holbaek Harbour masterplan

Birkerød Sports and Leisure Centre

Holbaek Harbour masterplan

Straume mixed-use development

Tian Yi Town district


Amazon Court

The Royal Library

ARoS - Aarhus Kunstmuseum

Performers' House


Click here to view the NEWS IN PICTURES tablet site