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Schmidt Hammer Lassen completes Aberdeen library

The University of Aberdeen has opened its new £57 million library designed by Danish stars Schmidt Hammer Lassen

The 15,500m² building replaces the existing Queen Mother Library with a new educational facility serving a student community of more than 16,000.

The eight-storey library houses around 250,000 books maps and manuscripts and can accommodate up to 1,200 readers.

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Previous story (AJ 08.06.2006)

Danish practice writes new chapter

These are the first images of what Danish practice Schmidt Hammer Lassen hopes will be its debut building in the UK. The Aarhusbased office has submitted the proposals for a new university library in Aberdeen. The firm, which is comparable in size to the Richard Rogers Partnership, has extensive credentials in the library field, having designed the 1999 Royal Library in Copenhagen. The Scottish project, described by Aberdeen University - founded in 1495 - as ‘a library for our sixth century’, will provide facilities for the entire 13,500-strong student community, far exceeding the 5,000 students the current Queen Mother Library was built to accommodate. It will house the historic collections, comprising more than a quarter of a million ancient and priceless books and manuscripts, amassed by the university since its foundation. According to Morten Schmidt, a founding partner at the practice, the building form will be ‘opposite to the crystals of the famous granite that surrounds it.

He said: ‘It won’t exactly be clear, but it will appear a sort of greyish transparent colour. All our buildings have a major distinct special sense of openness - using them is a democratic and open experience. We are working on the basis of Nordic functionality, we have a functional and simple way of looking at things.’

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