May 17, 2022

UK: University of Bristol Unveils Plans For a New Flagship £80 Million ($106.9 Million) Library

From the University of Bristol:

A new £80 million library development is to be built at the heart of the University of Bristol’s Clifton campus.

The flagship building promises to ‘delight and inspire innovation and discovery’ and will be designed by a team of architects behind some of Europe’s top education and library projects.

As part of the University’s wider plans to remodel its precinct around Tyndall Avenue, the new library will replace The Hawthorns – a former hotel which currently houses some student accommodation, catering facilities and various offices.

Over 1,400 staff and students reviewed and voted on the five top design concepts as part of the selection process. Both this open vote and the University’s expert panel chose the modern design put forward by British architecture studio Hawkins\Brown, Danish practice Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and engineers Buro Happold.


The new library will also include a cultural collections centre to give access to the University’s world-class collections of historic books, archives and the Theatre Collection.

Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol, said: “The new state-of-the-art library will be an integral part of the academic experience of so many of our students and staff – especially, but not exclusively, in the humanities and social sciences.

“We are excited to be working with architects who understand the importance of creating libraries which delight and inspire innovation and discovery. Although the design plans are in their infancy, it is our ambition to work in partnership with the design team to deliver a welcoming building with incredible natural light and views, a rich resource of texts and special collections, excellent digital infrastructure and technology, and a stimulating and nurturing learning environment.”

It’s anticipated that a full public consultation on the more developed design will begin in Spring 2018 before a planning application is submitted to Bristol City Council.

Hawkins\Brown’s recent higher education buildings include the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture, the Bob Champion Research and Education Building for the University of East Anglia and the soon-to-be completed The Beecroft Physics Building, a major new research and laboratory facility for the University of Oxford.


Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s international portfolio of library projects includes the Sir Duncan Rice Library at the University of AberdeenDokk1 in Aarhus, Denmark – Scandinavia’s largest public library; and Halifax Central Library in Canada.

Read the Complete Announcement

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.