Library entrance


CD wall


Behind the CD wall


Front of the library


Sheet music storage by Ecospace


Study areas



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’

The Building

The Building

Type of library

Campus/site library


465 m2




Darntons B3

Building contractor


The Space

The Space

Features and services

Special 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

External features

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.

Internal features

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.

Energy efficiency


Accessibility provision

Flat entrance and lift between floors
Adjustable height desks

Interior designer


Furniture suppliers

Furniture - WeSpace
Shelving – Forster Ecospace

Services and facilities suppliers


Discovery: EBSCO

IT provision

RFID, WiFi, charging points, 20 computer terminals.

Seats/study places