This Grade A-listed building, designed by Sir Basil Spence, Glover & Ferguson has been highlighted as a good example of Modernist design. Whilst it retained the majority of its original design features it required complete up-grading to meet the requirements of a modern research and learning environment.
The library refurbishment was the largest of a range of projects that Lewis and Hickey carried out for Edinburgh University, phased over a 7-year period to ensure service continuity throughout the works. The extensive works included repairs to the fabric of the building, renovation of finishes and the complete renewal of all building services.
A new Special Collections, Archive and Research Centre area was formed on the top two floors and further phases included the remodelling of the entrance area, formation of a 220-seat cafe and the insertion of a mezzanine gallery and exhibition space. A degree of flexibility has been designed into the floor layouts and services installations to allow for possible internal reconfigurations to suit future changes in use patterns.