New Library, Magdalene College in Cambridge Wins UK’s Top Architecture Prize
From New Atlas:
Following the reveal of six shortlisted projects earlier this year, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the 2022 winner of the Stirling Prize, the most prestigious award in British architecture. Níall McLaughlin Architects has won for its superbly designed New Library, Magdalene College in Cambridge, which is built to last at least 400 years.
Situated within the University of Cambridge’s college grounds, the library is open to students 24 hours a day and replaces the cramped study spaces of the nearby 17th century Pepys Library. The understated project takes its place very well among the mishmash of buildings and courtyards that have gradually grown over the college’s 700 or so years.
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More From the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA):
The exquisitely detailed new building provides students at the 700-year-old University of Cambridge college with a new library – open 24 hours a day – incorporating an archive and an art gallery.
Set within the college grounds in Cambridge’s city-centre, the new library replaces the cramped study spaces of the adjacent 17th century Grade I listed Pepys Library and extends the quadrangular arrangement of buildings and courts that have gradually developed from the monastic college site.
The layout also creates a range of study spaces for independent study – with desks set into bay windows, hidden in private niches and within shared zones – enabling students to be tucked away or among peers depending on their inclination.
This is a modern building that employs simple but highly effective passive ventilation and natural lighting strategies to minimise energy in use, and materials such as engineered timber structure to reduce carbon embodied in its construction.
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