On 1st October the official topping out was celebrated for the Templeman Library Extension, designed by Penoyre & Prasad, at the University of Kent.

The extension is the first of three phases of development that see the existing library extended and refurbished throughout. The rooftop ceremony was marked by the completion of the fixings on the distinctive pre-cast concrete façade fins. Construction, by main contractor Kier, is progressing well moving towards completion and opening in March 2016.

The library development, at the heart of the campus, is a key project for the University as it celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The glazed volume of the extension is echoed in new glazing to the existing building, interspersed with single piece large-scale concrete fins to create a beautiful and simple architecture that entwines the old and the new. The development includes 350 new study spaces, a 250 seat acoustically clad lecture theatre, exhibition space, a passively cooled basement archive and a new library café.

John Sotillo, Director of Information Services at University of Kent, said “It is particularly fitting that on the day we are launching the 50th anniversary year of celebrations for the university that we are also marking a key moment in the new Templeman Library Project. Few of the academics and students who took up residence at the university in 1965 could have imagined what the information environment would have looked like at the beginning of the 21st Century. The future will bring new ways of using the library that we can’t imagine now, we think we are preparing ourselves very well for the future through this project.”

Click here to see a film of the building.