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Architect sought for Queen's University Belfast library expansion

Belfast
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Queen’s University Belfast is seeking an architect for a £5.2 million extension to its McClay Library

The winner of the £500,000 contract will draw up plans for a 4,000m2 extension to the landmark building (pictured) which first opened to students seven years ago.

The £50 million library was designed by Boston-based Shepley Bulfinch with local firm RRP. It houses 1.2 million volumes and can host up to 2,000 readers.

The latest expansion will include both the internal remodelling of existing structures over several floors and some new-build elements.

According to the contract notice: ‘This project, McClay Library phase 3, aims to support the aims and priorities of Vision 2020 by maintaining and enhancing the student experience.

‘This will be achieved by the reallocation and rationalisation of space within McClay Library, integration of the existing David Bates Building into the library and utilisation of the internal courtyard between the two buildings to increase provision of group study rooms and computer and reader spaces.’

Last month the university started recruiting experts for a £2.2 million restoration of the facades on its main building, the 1849 Lanyon Building. Designed by English architect Charles Lanyon, it was inspired by Magdalen College in Oxford.

The latest project comes seven months after the university began its search for an architect for a controversial £25 million redevelopment of its student union.

More than 8,000 people have signed a petition against the demolition of the Student Union’s Mandela Hall music venue, which could be included in the project.

Located opposite the Lanyon Building, the union was constructed in 1967 on the site of a former residential block. It was originally designed for just 6,000 students, but now has more than 24,000 members.

The building – which features a 2,000 capacity concert hall, canteen and three bars – received an £8.8 million overhaul by local firm Todd Architects in 2006.

The winning architect-led design team – yet to be announced – will draw up plans for a new 11,000m2 hub combining all of the university’s support, advice, developmental and commercial services for students.

Applicants for the library expansion must have an annual turnover of at least £300,000 to participate. The deadline for applications is 4pm on 21 September. The extension is planned to complete in 2019.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Jackie Glackin
Queen’s University Belfast
Purchasing Office
University Road
Belfast
BT7 1NN

Tel: +44 2890973026
Email: j.glackin@qub.ac.uk

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