University of Portsmouth Library

University of Portsmouth Library

The new extension to the University of Portsmouth Library creates a highly visible entrance to the library and provides much needed additional accommodation including IT facilities, flexible seminar rooms, study areas and a cafe. Since its opening in 2007 student use of the library has almost doubled.

  • University of Portsmouth Library 1
  • University of Portsmouth Library 2

Bridging over a public path, the building forms a gateway to the park, accessed from a new urban square. This is a welcome addition to a part of the city that lacks good quality external spaces. The main three-storey block is clad in limestone to complement the existing concrete building.

  • University of Portsmouth Library 1
  • University of Portsmouth Library 2
  • University of Portsmouth Library 3

Viewed from the north, dramatic vertical cuts through the stone are highlighted with coloured anodised aluminium reveals. The saw-tooth south facade is softer and provides a sympathetic backdrop to the park. Partly clad in timber, it rises from a dark brick base inspired by the eponymous ravelins (Napoleonic fortifications).

  • University of Portsmouth Library 1
  • University of Portsmouth Library 2
The University Library is exemplary in its use of sustainable, passive, technology – it does this quietly, without fanfare, and in doing so sets a high bench-mark for others to follow in the future. Solent Design Award Judges
  • University of Portsmouth Library 1
  • University of Portsmouth Library 2
  • University of Portsmouth Library 3

The extension has received a BREEAM rating of Excellent. The building’s orientation, façade treatment and extensive rooflights maximise day-lighting whilst minimising solar gain. The high thermal mass of the exposed concrete interior helps maintain stable temperatures alongside a highly innovative, low cost, mixed-mode ventilation system with heat recovery.

In addition manually openable ventilation panels in the south facing study bays allow users to control their immediate environment.

  • University of Portsmouth Library 1
  • University of Portsmouth Library 1
  • University of Portsmouth Library 1

Project Leader

Awards

  • Solent Design Award, ‘Quality Places’- University of Portsmouth Library: Winner
  • Solent Design Award, ‘Quality Places – People’s Choice’- University of Portsmouth Library: Winner
  • Civic Trust Award- Snape Maltings: Commendation
  • Portsmouth Society Awards- University of Portsmouth Library: Winner
Client
  • University of Portsmouth
Status
Complete
Size m2
53,504
Completion Date
2007
Structural Engineer
  • Gifford
M&E Engineer
  • Gifford
Landscape Architect
  • Jennifer Coe Landscape