British Library

Colin St John Wilson, London, 1997

 

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  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • North-south section of central concourse    
  • Sciences reading room    
  • Humanities reading room    
  • North-south sectionthrough public concourse    
  • Phase 1    
  • Sketch of workplaces in humanities reading room    
  • Model of section - not quite as built    
  • Sketch of the Oriental and India reading room    

Library to house the British Museum’s collection with a restaurant, reading rooms and conference centre

The library houses the world’s largest collection of digital and printed items. Situated next to St Pancras Station on Euston Road, the red brick building is entered through a large walled courtyard which contains sculptures by Antony Gormley and Eduardo Paolozzi.

The main circulation space and foyer is in the centre of the plan dividing the two reading wings and contains the Kings Library, George III’s personal collection.

The humanities reading rooms are housed in the west wing with the workspaces taking priority and the reference book shelves placed on the periphery of the rooms. The science reading rooms in the east wing, which extends out along Midland Road, contains a three-storey void along the west side to prioritise open access to reading stacks with workspaces on the periphery.

Also within the east wing is the conference centre with its own separate entrance, that contains a fanned lecture theatre and foyer with terraced seating for group discussion.

A large extent of the building’s mass is housed underground in 340km of basement to house the collection's 14 million books.

Data

  • Begun: 1982
  • Completed: 1997
  • Floor area: 120,000m2
  • Sectors: Civic, Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £500M
  • Address: 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB, United Kingdom

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