University of Aberdeen Library, United Kingdom

Designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
A Campus Connector

University of Aberdeen Library is designed as one large rectangular volume—a 10-storey building standing out in the Aberdeen skyscape. Visual lightness and airiness in combination with its proportionality, materials palette, and clean lines lend the building a timeless quality. A large organic opening that cuts through every floor creates continuous visual connections throughout the full height of the building. This atrium is the central hub of the building and stands in contrast to the orthogonal geometry of the exterior.

The new library serves a community of 14,000 students, containing 1,200 reading spaces alongside archives, historical collections and a rare books reading room.
Consisting of an irregular pattern of insulated panels and high performance glazing, the façade shimmers during the day and glows softly at night, creating a luminous landmark for Aberdeen. The façade is designed to serve as a climate buffer, changing in response to specific qualities of light or images projected onto it.
A rare books showcase takes the form of a cube set in a double-height space on the ground floor, which also functions as a reading room for the university’s special collections library.