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University of Birmingham Library

In 2009, Birmingham based Associated Architects ran a feasibility study to review whether a refurbishment or rebuild would be the most suitable option for Birmingham University’s Library update project.

Info

Location
Edgbaston, Birmingham

Architect
Associated Architects LLP

Contractor
Moda

The Space

In 2009, Birmingham based Associated Architects ran a feasibility study to review whether a refurbishment or rebuild would be the most suitable option for Birmingham University’s Library update project.

The report concluded that a new building would best meet this University’s needs. It was decided that the demolition of the 1950’s library would serve to create a ‘green heart’ at the centre of Birmingham’s campus, improving both site circulation and the learning environment.

The new Library building, which opened in 2015, spans six levels and includes a total of 17,000 m³ complete with a new cafè and event space.

The Project

To help Birmingham University realise its dream of achieving 20% CO2 reduction by 2020, Associated Architects envisioned a completely glass panelled and glazed structure to maximise the building’s natural heating and lighting capabilities.

Its exterior would be fitted with aesthetic anodised aluminium fins and automatic blinds that would provide solar shading when required.

Clearly, glass panelling, glazing and partitioning lay at the heart of this £42 million project’s design. Associated Architects, looking for a high level of quality, reliability and exceptional sound control, partnered with Optima to achieve the level of detail and performance that was called for.

To meet the requirements of this project, Optima designed and built bespoke structural glass partitions, along with fire rated glass screens.

The Result

Birmingham University’s new Library building is a hub of information that houses a host of learning spaces to cater for every mode of study.

The Library has been completely tailor made and it shows; the attention to detail is impressive. The result is that each and every element seamlessly runs into the next, creating an inspiring, elegant and modern learning environment.

The newly installed glass elements all work together to maximise the assets of the build, whether that be natural light, space, or even seclusion.

The design, structural and acoustic performance of Optima’s glass partitions are there to enhance every visitor’s experience of the building.

Working with Optima

Working on-site with the main contractor, Optima’s partner Moda went above and beyond to meet the needs and requirements of the client as effectively as possible, delivering a high quality project on-time and within budget.

We are delighted to have been part of such an important building – both educationally and economically. The new Library building at Birmingham University, being a leading example of sustainable engineering, will hopefully begin to pave the way for many others to follow.

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