University of Birmingham Main Library interior
Leo Appleton, Chair of the Design Awards Panel and Director of Library Services at Goldsmiths University of London said: “The SCONUL Design Awards 2019 received many high quality, excellent submissions from exemplar libraries which, through their innovative designs, are transforming how teaching, learning and research happens at their respective institutions.
“Chairing the awards panel was a real privilege as well as being challenging due to the high calibre of the entries. All seven short-listed libraries are huge successes in their own rights, but the two winning library designs stood out amongst them.
“The new library at the heart of the University of Birmingham campus is a prolific, flagship library building and a highly popular destination for University of Birmingham students, academics and researchers. The innovative design maximises a blend of attractive study and research spaces, while at the same time enabling an innovative new approach to collection management. The project has transformed many aspects of the library and the university, but most notably the ways in which teams from across the university now collaborate and work together.
RCSI Learning Commons window seating
“The development of the library at the Royal College of the Surgeons in Ireland is another exceptional example of transformative design. The library spaces and functions permeate the campus building and in doing so allow for flexibility and adaptability as the library seeks to be able to respond to the requirements of the RCSI students, academics and researchers as well as the medical and clinical users, all of whom were fully engaged stakeholders in the design project. The new library makes a significant contribution to the institution which in turn has transformed medical education at the RCSI and beyond.”