The University of Bedfordshire formally opened their new library on October 13.
Ex- student, author and Man Booker Prize nominee, Stephen Kelman spoke about the value of the library as an inspirational space before unveiling a commemorative plaque with Vice Chancellor, Bill Rammell.
The new building is open 24/7 and 365 days per year and provides a much broader range of study environments than were previously available to the student community- in response to student consultation and feedback. Whilst still offering printed material as a primary resource, the new building also incorporates space for collaborative and group study as well as carefully arranged space for silent, individual study. A Study Hub acts as a focus for those needing assistance and support in relation to coursework and assignments. The building is connected to the adjacent Campus Centre and Business School at first floor level – continuing and extending a network of linking bridge spaces that run throughout the campus. The design brings high levels of daylight into the depth of the building- with full height glazing and a top-light above carefully located light wells through the upper four floors. At 9 storeys, including an open access archive space on the lower ground, it is the tallest academic on campus and the top floor has a dramatic double height study room that enjoys long views to the south including a steady stream of arrivals and departures from Luton Airport.
The scheme is the latest project that has been delivered following the Development Framework that we produced for the University of Bedfordshire in 2007, setting out the long term strategy for their estate. The completion of the new library is an exciting continuation of our successful relationship with both the University and the design team involved in the campus redevelopment.
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