University of Reading Library

Phased refurbishment to bring a library up to modern standards

The library was a 1960s building that had an uncertain future because it did not cater for the evolving study methods of students, with the rise in self-led study and collaborative group working. The building had had little modernisation since the early 1980s. The scope of works was an initial phase of two floors of the five-storey building.

The building works included internal partition alterations, installing new ceilings, toilets and external glazing with brises soleils and total replacement of the M&E systems on the fifth floor. LEDs were used to overhaul the original ‘skylight’ effect lighting units in the double height reading room.

The University wanted to invest in long-lasting furniture that could potentially be moved and used elsewhere. We provided a wide range, from demountable acoustic pods to individual work bays. There were also a large number of original tables and chairs that were refurbished back to as-new.

The new design of the library provides areas for the students to study in various size groups or as individuals. Our graphic design team designed the manifestation and other graphic elements, themed around books, academia, silence and architectural forms from the building. The project has been a great success and the University has now decided to refurbish the remaining areas.