World exclusive!

This is a little naughty of me — posting pictures of the two subject floors that have undergone refurbishment this year before many of our library staff have had chance to see them in person 😉

Last summer, we refurb’d the entrance floor of the library and rebranded it as the “Student Centre” to reflect the fact that the myriad of student service departments now had a presence in the library. Shortly afterwards, actor Patrick Stewart formally opened the library 🙂

(Mr Stewart chats to Lisa and Bryony at the “Ask a Librarian” desk)

This year, we’ve tackled 2 of the 4 subject floors and they’ve been strictly out-of-bounds for most of the summer. Just before the floors were handed over to the builders, I popped round with my camera (see Flickr)…

floor6_017 floor6_010 f5_009 f5_011 f5_007

Four months on, and I’ve gone round again. The refurbished floors aren’t open to staff or students yet, as shelving is still being fitted, PC desks are being installed, and crates of stock are returning from temporary storage. You can view the photographs on Flickr or watch them as a slideshow.

floor6_009 floor6_006 floor6_001 floor5_025 floor5_022 floor5_014

The architects had a difficult brief — improve study facilities, add social spaces and flexible areas, and do it all with the existing space and without loosing shelving capacity.

Wandering around the floors, they’ve managed to do it and then some!

  • flooring is used to guide people through the floor, with clear paths from both staircases to the Subject Team office on each floor
  • the silent study area and silent PC rooms aren’t enclosed rooms, but use corridors of thick glass walls to absorb noise — as you enter the areas, the noise from the rest of the floor simply vanishes!
  • to free up much needed space, each floor makes use of mobile shelving from Nordplan
  • power sockets and data points are everywhere — scattered across the floor in floor boxes and mounted in vertical poles close to the where the comfy furniture will be placed
  • most of the walls are curved, and most of the walls are glass — natural light floods in and you’re never far away from the great views across the valley and towards Castle Hill (Huddersfield’s most famous landmark)


One thing I’ve not taken a photograph of yet is the new eco-friendly library catalogue PCs, and that’s because I’m not installing them until later on this week …pop back on Thursday evening and I’ll reveal all!

And, if that wasn’t enough, today we unveiled our Learning 2.0 programme at the annual Teaching & Learning Conference held at the University — yay! 🙂


  1. Mike said:

    Love the curvy walls and wood floors!

  2. It’s a nice mixture of curvy/organic and straight lines.

    I don’t think I’ll get my wrist slapped for linking to the floor plan for floor 5 — it’s not quite the final version, but the overall layout is the same.

    There are some faint grey lines & doors on the plan and these show former layout, prior to the refurbishment.

    The big push has been to try and clearly separate the silent/quiet zones and the social zones. The “silent study [no computers]” space is the area I mentioned in the blog post — it’s incredible how the ambience changes as you enter. It reminded me of when you walk into an art gallery and you feel oblidged to be as quiet as possible!

    Tomorrow is when I start deploying the eco-friendly catalogue PCs, but I’ll post more about that tomorrow night 🙂

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