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RSHP, Parry and Make vying for new British Library wing


Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Eric Parry Architects and Make are all rumoured to be competing for a 1.1ha extension to the British Library

The high-profile firms are understood to be among the bidding teams in a developer-led contest for the prestigious project, which will be built north of the Grade I-listed library next to PLP’s and HOK’s new Francis Crick Institute.

Dubbed ‘Building the Future’, the scheme will create new gallery spaces, events spaces, a public entrance on Midland Road and a headquarters for the Alan Turing Institute.



British Library expansion project site

The expansion follows the success of recent high-profile exhibitions on comics, propaganda and the Magna Carta and a massive growth in reader numbers which has seen public areas oversubscribed.

Interviews to select a commercial operator and architect for the deal to lease, design, build and operate the new wing were held earlier this month (10 May).

Designed by Colin St John Wilson and MJ Long, the landmark building on Euston Road was awarded the highest level of statutory listing one year ago.

A library spokesperson declined to comment on the bidders. A winner is expected later this year and the project is planned to complete by 2023, in time for the library’s 50th anniversary.


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Readers' comments (2)

  • Chris Rogers

    Hmm. More detail on how this fits with the MJ Long-designed Bindery etc would be helpful. As for "...The expansion follows [...] a massive growth in reader numbers which has seen public areas oversubscribed", that is a tad disingenuous given the library opened with far fewer seats than originally intended thanks to the repeated delays and cuts.

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  • Despite the 'massive growth in reader numbers' there is no mention of additional reading rooms. Why not? No move to increase the amount of on-site book storage? Don't forget it's a library.

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