David Wilson Library 10

Floor 2 Plan

David Wilson Library 09

Ground Floor Plan

David Wilson Library 08

Floor 3 Plan

David Wilson Library 07

Floor 1 Plan

David Wilson Library 06

Basement Plan

David Wilson Library 05

Graduate School Reading Room

David Wilson Library 04

Study Area

David Wilson Library 03

Atrium and central street

David Wilson Library 02

Extension atrium

David Wilson Library 01

David Wilson Library Photography: Martine Hamilton Knight



The project comprised an extension to the award-winning 1975 University Library, doubling its size, and an extensive remodelling of the original building.

Four atria spaces were created linked by an internal multi-level street, providing an intuitive plan. Noise breakout is controlled by book stacks and enclosed study rooms positioned between circulation spaces and readers.

Following extensive consultation with students and academic staff, the key design priorities were: the introduction of fresh air and natural light; a seamless extension; ease of navigation; provision of key services, such a photocopying, on all floors; creation of a range of study environments including group study facilities; a designated study area for postgraduate students; self-service; a building that, through design, encouraged good behaviours; a cafe; a welcoming and modern ambience.


1. RIBA National Award, 2009, 2. RIBA East Midlands Award for Architecture, 2008, 3. British Council of Offices Regional Award for Refurbished/Recycled Workplace, 4. Leicestershire Property and Construction Awards, Building of the Year 2008 , 5. Leicester Civic Society Award 2008, 6. IStructE Structural Awards. Midlands Counties Branch Public Sector Award, 2008, 7. BREEAM 'Excellent' award

The Building

The Building

Type of library

Central/Main library/LRC


15500 m2




Associated Architects

Building contractor


The Space

The Space

Features and services

Special services

Cafe/refreshment areas, Exhibition/display areas, Group study spaces, Hosting of other agencies, Meeting rooms, Public address system, Retail outlets, Specialist subject collections, Teaching rooms

External features

Art works, Nature of site, Materials

Internal features

Design features, Security, Structural

Energy efficiency

Control mechanisms, Energy conservation, Heating, Lighting, Materials used, Structural factors, Ventilation

Accessibility provision

Access between floors, Access to building, Access within building, Assistive technology, Critical distances, Furniture height

Interior designer


Furniture suppliers

Atkinson Contracts, Emergent Crown, Go Modern, N E J Stevenson, Vitra

Services and facilities suppliers

Nordplan, 3M, Sentry

IT provision

Electronic information displays, Internet access, Laptop points, Public access terminals, RFID, Self service circulation, WiFi

Seats/study places