The Weston Library is part of the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford, one of the most ancient public libraries in the world, located in a building designed by Architect Giles Gilbert Scott in 1930. The WilkinsonEyre architectural practice was appointed to restore the building, and designed an ambitious project to adapt the structure to modern techniques for preserving ancient books and manuscripts, to meet the demands of a large audience and to create new spaces for research.
The WilkinsonEyre architects removed the higher floors from the central part of the building, replacing them with a reading room and a research area; on entering the restructured entrance hall, then, users have direct visual contact with the books and an overall view of the central area spaces. The architects also partially rebuilt the three floors of the underground storage facility, so as to adapt them to modern archival standards.
The WilkinsonEyre design is acknowledged to have substantially improved the surrounding environment and revitalised Broad Street corner. The building was among the six finalists of the Stirling Prize, the UK's most prestigious architecture prize.
Location: Oxford, UK
Images courtesy of RIBA, photo by James Brittain, John Cairns, Will Pryce
RIBA Stirling Prize 2016 is sponsored by Almacantar