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Wilkinson Eyre's £80m Oxford University library completes

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[FIRST LOOK] Wilkinson Eyre has completed this renovation of Oxford University’s Weston Library

The library, which houses some of the UK’s most valuable literary treasures, is set to reopen to the public this Saturday (21 March) after an £80 million revamp.

Part of the Bodleian Library, the grade II-listed building was originally designed by Giles Gilbert Scott in the thirties.

The renovation project has created research areas, storage for the library’s collections, and expanded public spaces including new exhibition galleries, a lecture theatre, a digital media centre and seminar rooms.

The architects have removed the top floors of the building’s original central stack – which held 11-storeys of books – replacing them with a dedicated reading room and suite of research rooms.

The library’s three-storey underground stacks have been partially rebuilt and upgraded to modern archival standards.

Wilkinson Eyre’s scheme includes a top-lit 13.5m-high central space which houses the library’s café, information desk, and a 15th-century gateway on permanent loan from the V&A.

The gateway originally led to the garden of the historic Dorner family’s estate at Ascott Park in Oxfordshire and was the only surviving structure following a fire in 1662, and is designed to ‘emphasis the theme of old and new’ running through the building.  

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