News / University of Bristol

Bristol Uni reveals plans for ‘landmark’ new library

By flora snelson, Sunday Feb 9, 2020

The University of Bristol have submitted a planning application for a multimillion-pound new library at the heart of its campus.

Designed by an international team, the building is set to replace the Hawthorns at the corner of Elton Road and Woodland Road, and contain 2,000 new study seats and 420,000 books.

The ground floor will be open to the public, encompassing galleries, event spaces and a cafe, with some of the university’s most important collections – including the nationally renowned theatre collection – available to view.

The proposed development as seen from Elton Road – image courtesy of Hawkins\Brown & Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

“This inspirational new landmark for Bristol will provide world-class facilities in an inclusive and welcoming environment,” said Adam Cossey of London-based architects Hawkins Brown.

“The new library building has the potential to transform the relationship between the University of Bristol and the wider city, extending a welcome to the public and acting as a gateway to the revitalised Clifton campus.”


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The building promises a high energy efficiency rating and floor-to-ceiling windows to encourage natural light. The development will also feature green roof terraces and create a new public square.

Revised plans include changes to the current road layout, with the promise of improved cycling and walking routes.

Dr Mike Entwisle of BuroHappold Engineering said that the library “will transform the student experience and enhance community engagement, and become an exemplar of sustainable and healthy building performance”.

The result of the planning application is expected in late spring.

Photos courtesy of Hawkins\Brown & Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Read more: Council launches masterplan to future-proof Bristol’s libraries 

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