Wilkinson Eyre’s New Bodleian completes 23.03.15

  • The 13.5m-high Blackwell Hall forms the heart of the new library

  • The David Reading Room, featuring Barber Osgerby's chair

  • Readers can pass from the Blackwell Hall to the secure reading areas via the 16th-century Ascott Park Gateway, on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum

  • View from the roof terrace over Oxford

  • Detail of stack, open access gallery and rooflights in Blackwell Hall

Architect's refurbished Giles Gilbert Scott building in Oxford reopened this weekend as the Weston Library

Stirling prize-winning architect Wilkinson Eyre's refurbished New Bodleian Library in Oxford opened to the public this weekend (21 March 2015).

Part of the University of Oxford's historic library complex, the grade II-listed building – now called the Weston Library – was originally designed by Giles Gilbert Scott. The renovation has upgraded existing storage facilities, bringing them up to modern archival standards, while creating additional space for research. It has also introduced exhibition galleries, a shop, a digital media centre and a lecture theatre to the building for the first time.

The highest storeys of the original building, previously hidden by a 1960s extension, have been restored to reflect Scott's original design, while introducing the new David Reading Room with extensive views of the city. The new Weston Library will now focus on the storage, research and display of the Bodleian's Special Collections.

An oak and leather chair by Barber Osgerby – the winner of a competition to design a new chair for the university library – features in the new institution.

A full review of Wilkinson Eyre's new library will feature in Icon's June issue

 

Words

Debika Ray

 

Images: Ben Bisek, John Cairns, Will Pryce

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