Emmanuel College Library

Kilburn Nightingale Architects, Cambridge, 2011


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  • Location plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Second floor plan    
  • Fourth floor plan    
  • Section    
  • Elevation    
  • Details    

Refurbishment of the original Edwardian library building with a remodelling and enlargement of the existing 1970s extension

The refurbishment provided an increased number of reader spaces, enhanced accessibility, improved environmental control and increased archive storage.

The existing extension was stripped back to its structure, then remodelling it to make it larger and more efficient.

The sweet chestnut-clad fins of the enlarged extension are formed by the readers’ carrels. The fins wrap around the desks, where each reader is provided with an openable window, lighting and heat when required, which helps to create a quiet working environment.

The cladding is insulated with sheep’s wool, which greatly improves the building’s thermal insulation.


  • Begun: Jun 2009
  • Completed: Jan 2011
  • Floor area: 2,170m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £5M
  • Address: Emmanuel College Library, Cambridge, CB2 3AP, United Kingdom

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