Dana Research Centre and Library

Coffey Architects, London, 2015


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

View into the library from outside 

Timothy Soar     Download Original

  • View into the library from outside    
  • The screen features layers of holes that mix light and shade    
  • The screen adds movement to the room    
  • The library provides scholars with access to 500,000 items     
  • The library features an expanse of glazing    
  • The oak bookcases are located in a lower-height space     
  • Entrance to the library    
  • Coffey’s work also improves the approach from the street, where the oak of the library extends into the Wolfson’s main foyer space    
  • Site plan    
  • Internal plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Sections AA and BB    

Coffey Architects’ Dana Research Centre and Library provides scholars with access to 500,000 items archived at the Science Museum in South Kensington, London.

The library’s standout feature is a double layer of metal perforated panels that line the room’s expanse of glazing. The library was conceptualised as a canopy, filtering light, under which research, reading and contemplation might take place. A simple element that defines Coffey’s library is its complement of oak bookcases. These are located in a lower-height space deep into the plan and have been designed to conceal the structural columns supporting the floors above. They add warmth that contrasts with the white walls of the light-filled, double-height reading room beyond.


  • Completed: Nov 2015
  • Floor area: 545m2
  • Sectors: Education, Arts and culture
  • Address: Exhibition Rd, London, SW7 2DD, United Kingdom

Professional Team

AJBL Sponsor

Armstrong World Industries

A global leader in providing customised, multi material ceiling and wall solutions

Find out more