In 2017, Leeds College of Music (LCoM) completed work on its flagship Library, transforming a long unoccupied space into a purpose-designed facility which provides an exceptional learning and study environment for the conservatoire’s students and the Leeds City Region.
Situated in a narrow, curved building, the library provides a range of library services for music students. After entering through the entrance pod you turn left to access the CDs and DVDs in the ‘A-side’. Turning right into the ‘B-side’ you will find collections of books, musical scores and LPs, many of which were not visible in their previous home. Upstairs are a range of study spaces, and small rooms for group or silent work, as well as staff accommodation. The natural light coming through the floor-to-ceiling windows makes for a bright and sunny environment. RFID has been installed, OPACs were replaced with iPad Pros, and the number of charging points installed has future-proofed the library for some time.
Win - Yorkshire Property Industry Awards 2018 ‘Design Excellence Award’ for “new standards in design quality, build-ability, functionality, place, sustainability and aesthetics”
Shortlist – THELMA 2018 ‘Outstanding Estates Strategy’
Type of library
Features and services
Audiovisual/multimedia areas, Group study spaces, Specialist subject collections, Meeting rooms, Provision of special materials. Electric piano, Blu-ray / DVD facilities, Listening stations for CDs and LPs
Building wraps around two sides of the bottom of a block of flats, and was intended as a restaurant. This shape presented challenges in the design. It has a fully glazed curved front.
An additional project was carried out to develop the public realm outside the library. A playful grassed public square was created, with new lighting, seating and planting. Also featured are a performance space and a broadcast point for our neighbours, BBC Leeds.
The curved shape, while challenging, provides a unique library layout. There many pillars in the structure and these have been hidden into where possible and provide features elsewhere.
Flat entrance and lift between floors
Adjustable height desks
Furniture - WeSpace
Shelving – Forster Ecospace
Services and facilities suppliers
RFID, WiFi, charging points, 20 computer terminals.