The original six-storey Central Library at the University of East Anglia was built in 1968 to designs by Denys Lasdun and Partners and extended by Feilden and Mawson in 1974. We were appointed in 2002 to design a new extension of some 7500 m2, to be built in phases.
As part of the design process we tested a number of options which would create new space at the heart of the campus, and researched the original 1968 Lasdun masterplan in order to understand the pattern of growth which he and his colleagues envisaged. We consulted with the 20th Century Society, English Heritage and the planning authority from the early stages of the project in order to arrive at the preferred solution.
A close working relationship with the Librarian and her technical user group was central to the design process in order to achieve a high quality cost-effective building providing a well-lit, glare free and comfortable environment requiring minimal energy. Both the new UEA Library extension and the phased refurbishment of the existing Grade II-listed library were completed on time and on budget, and officially opened by novelist Rose Tremain on Wednesday 8th March 2006.
"…it is a tribute to the design team that the plans were approved. The design provides a building of real quality and one which complements the original Lasdun architecture. We are delighted with the internal space it provides, which is light and airy and should provide an ideal setting for study and our collections."
Jean Steward, Director of Information Services
"a fresh twist on a modern classic"
Martin Spring, Building Magazine