David Wilson Library

University of Leicester
In 2004 the University of Leicester announced its intention to modernise and extend the existing main campus library to ensure it remained competitive with other top universities, attracting and retaining the best staff and students.

Associated Architects’ solution was to design a new library that recycled and extended the existing library structure within a new sustainable envelope: full of natural light and fresh air.

The new library is now more than just a library and it contains 1,500 reader places of all types (including a dedicated Postgraduate Area, IT training and group study rooms), a student development zone incorporating the Student Learning Centre and the Careers Service, bookshop, café, 500-seat lecture theatre and seminar rooms, AccessAbility Centre, Special Collections Archive, and 38 kilometres of shelving allowing 20 years growth in the printed collections.

Opened in 2008 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the University, it is an inspirational place of learning, a working environment to be proud of and a library that is sustainable, multi-functional and has concern for the comfort of the user as well as the books.

“It is light and fresh, the old library was noisy and hot. It’s a shame my degree ends this year, so I’m not going to be able to use it that much.”
Carlota Gayton, a third-year modern languages student

The project received an RIBA Award in 2009

Client: University of Leicester
Project Value: £25m
Completion: 2008
Awards:
SCONUL Award – Winner Best New Library Large Category 2007-2010
RIBA Architecture Award 2009
BCO Re-cycled Workplace Awards 2009
RIBA East Midlands Architecture Award 2008
Leicester Civic Society: Building of the Year Awards 2008
PROCON Leicestershire Property Awards: Building of the Year 2008

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