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ADP takes wraps off £16m University of Leeds library

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ADP has released the first photographs of its recently completed £16million library for the University of Leeds

The 6,365m² building in Woodhouse Lane houses 900 ‘reader seats’, 15km of shelving, training rooms, flexible meeting rooms, group study areas, a café, community classrooms and a staffroom.

Sitting between the grade II-listed Emmanuel Church and Trinity St David’s Church, the library has been designed to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

According to the practice, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this month, the building provides a ‘diverse range of learning areas, organised in an ascending order from public social group spaces at ground level to individual silent study on the top floor in the reading room’.

The library is clad in Portland stone and features ‘three standardised floor plates arranged around a triangular fulcrum space’.

Broadcaster Melvyn Bragg, the chancellor of the University, described the structure as a ‘most beautiful contemporary building’.

He said: ‘Glass, Portland stone, columns, space, echoes of Athens and the stamp of the 21st century.

‘As Lord Laidlaw and many of the students I met said, it was far more comfortable and handsome than their digs - there’s a café tucked into the ground floor - and the students I spoke to loved it.

‘They could not wait to get into it - I swear - and left only reluctantly. If the remorseless drizzle of news dampens your souls, if you think our country is increasingly mired in a mess of its own incompetent making, if you want to see what the future can be — go for a stroll on the campus of a good university. The best of our country is there and the best is to come.’ 

Project data

Architects: ADP
Location: Leeds
Type Of Project: New build
Structural Engineers: WSP
Project Architect: Torsten Bauszus
Client: University of Leeds
Funding: University of Leeds plus private benefactor 
Tender date: March 2013
Start on site date: August 2013 
Contract duration:
68 weeks but finished 78 weeks
Gross internal floor area: 6,365m²
Form of contract and/or procurement: NEC3 ECC/PSC, Single Stage D&B
Total cost: £16million
M&e consultant: Couch Perry Wilkes
Quantity surveyor: ECHarris 
Planning supervisor:
Acoustic engineer:
AEC Consulting
Main contractor: Shepherd Construction
Selected subcontractors and suppliers: Techcrete - precast concrete panels; Albion stone - Portland stoner; SAS ceilings- rafts; Lignacoustic - acoustic wall linings; Kingspan metal tiles and knauf t&g boards; Wicona - aluminium curtain wall

Long section - ADP's Laidlaw Library at the University of Leeds [opened 2015]

Long section - ADP’s Laidlaw Library at the University of Leeds [opened 2015]

St Gobian - structural glazing 

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