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    George Green Library, University of Nottingham


    The sensitive modernisation of a Spence-designed library

    Location:Nottingham, United Kingdom
    Size:7,200 m²
    Client:University of Nottingham

    Hopkins have collaborated with Nottingham University for over 20 years, working on a number of projects including the award-winning Jubilee Campus, the masterplan for the University’s Park Campus and a new Engineering and Science Learning Centre.

    The George Green Library is located at the Park campus and required extensive modernisation in line with the 21st century learning environment standards, as well as to improve access and connectivity with the surrounding area. The project creates a wide variety of learning environments as well as a café, social and breakout spaces.

    The existing library has been enhanced and renovated, alongside a new curved extension which expresses new open reading and study areas. Imaginative adaptations maximised the potential of the existing building. By lowering an existing basement slab we transformed a shallow under croft store into usable daylit areas for staff offices and lecture spaces. The extension introduces three taller central floors, a curved façade offering extended perimeter desk spaces, and a full height atrium; it also adds an additional floor and gives increased visibility between floors. Entrances are located at both ends of the atrium to connect externally with the rest of the campus. Cores here mediate the differing floor heights between the renovated and new areas.

    In line with the University’s ambitious sustainability targets, the project was designed to achieve a BREAM ‘Excellent’. Externally, an aluminum facade system with vertical fins is applied to both buildings elements and helps control solar gain. Natural ventilation, rainwater harvesting and sustainable drainage systems were incorporated into the building to minimise flood risk. The introduction of insulation improved the overall performance of the building reducing operational costs. A carefully planned design allowed the library to remain in use throughout construction.