The University of Roehampton has a unique estate of Colleges rich with history and character in their beautiful historic buildings and commanding historic landscapes. The New University Library will bring a new heart to the campus and to Digby Stuart College. Getting the right relationship with the Parkland and the main entrance brings the opportunity to create a building of significance to the University and of value to campus life.
We designed a new Villa in the setting of the Digby Stuart parkland as a reinterpretation of the historical estate. Key qualities we adopted included:
- A strong axial quality
- A distinguished stone frontage set in front of a simple, rhythmic brick facade
- Elegant proportion and order
Our approach to the design of the new library was to create a ‘library of libraries’ catering for all by providing a range of versatile and flexible environments, with unique characters but universal provision of services. Each library is centred around a different natural light source to bring daylight as well as tranquillity into the heart of the plan.
A fully integrated environmental approach aims to create long-term loose-fit buildings to meet current needs whilst allowing for future as yet unknown patterns of use, by using the following objectives:
- To reduce energy demands through rigorously testing early design moves re building positioning, massing and orientation, to ensure we have maximised the potential of the site and day-lighting and thereafter focus with the design team on designing efficient and well controlled fabric and services.
- To increase the energy efficiency of installations through more efficient heating, ventilation, lighting and electronic equipment and control systems.
- To reduce the carbon in the fuel supply by measures both on and off-site, and by energy and utility suppliers. Many educational buildings are being reported as having 2 to 3 times the electrical consumption than that anticipated at design stage.