UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN NEW LIBRARY BY SHL ARCHITECTS
“The University of Aberdeen
is the fifth oldest English-language university in the world. It was
established in 1495 and it houses over a quarter of a million books and
The new library serves a community of 14,000
students. The 15,500
square metres of floor-space accommodates 1,200 reading
spaces alongside archives, historical collections and a rare books reading
A new public square is an integral part of the
design, linking the University and the city and forming the west end of an east-west
axis across the University campus. The Academic Square will generate a sense of
cohesion between the University and the surrounding community.
The library will be positioned on a base of
Scottish stone, and it is designed to be welcoming. The ground floor with
lounge and café areas will host regular exhibitions, seminars and poetry
The atrium’s vast spiralling volume connects
all eight storeys, and with its sweeping contours and organic form, this space
contrasts with the clean cut exterior profile.
The building is designed to minimise long term
running costs and energy use. Consisting of an irregular pattern of insulated
panels and high performance glazing, the façade will shimmer during the day and
glow softly at night, creating a luminous landmark for Aberdeen.
Aberdeen University New Library will be both a
meeting place and a cultural centre for the University and the wider Aberdeen community.
Photo voltaic cells are to be located on the
roof and will supplement the building’s electricity requirements.
A water recycling system will be utilised to
collect and store rainfall from the roof. The rain water will be recycled for
use in lavatories.
A green displacement ventilation system will
be used to save energy. For example, the system supplies air at 18-19° C, thus
obviating the need for mechanical cooling for a significant period of the year,
that is, whenever external temperatures are less than 17-18° C.
System pressure drops are much lower than in
conventional fan coil unit systems, and this permits the use of far smaller
fans to circulate air through the system. Temperature stratification allows for
the conditioning of the occupied zone only, and in this way energy is not
wasted in conditioning the unoccupied zone directly beneath the ceiling.
The university is developing a traffic plan
with an emphasis on sustainability. This will generally encourage the use of
sustainable transport systems rather than cars - for example cycling and buses.
Facilities such as showers for staff cycling to work will be provided.
The project has achieved a BREEAM Excellent
All working environments will be generously
day-lit. Through the use of high performance glazing, the amount of solar gain
and heat loss will be kept to a minimum. The ratio of glass to solid panel on
the internal elevations will be approximately 50 percent.
The building’s design will minimise long term
running costs and significantly reduce the scheme’s carbon footprint.” Description