Library 1.5

We’re extending the University Library this summer to provide students and staff with new study spaces and seminar rooms.

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Strategic context

Part of the University’s campus development masterplan, the extension will increase the Library’s capacity in response to rapidly growing demand.

Construction commenced on 18 March and will run throughout the summer so that your new facilities are ready for September.

The extension has been designed by Lincoln-based architectural practice Stem Architects and is being built by Kier Construction.

Phase 1.5 is the first of two proposed extensions to the Library. Phase 2 is in the early stages of development and we hope to have more information to share on this soon.

This blog will follow the extension through to completion. If you have any questions or comments about the project, please get in touch with us via the comments at the bottom of this page or @LincolnEstates on Twitter.


View of the new extension (right) from the north side showing the existing Library entrance (left) and the new extension (right). On the ground floor is a suite of informal study spaces for groups and individuals, while on the first floor are two new seminar rooms designed to support collaborative learning and teaching in line with Student as Producer.

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Above: ground floor plan showing existing entrance lobby and turnstiles (right) and new study zone, PCs and group room (left)

Below: first floor plan showing existing IT workshop UL101 (right) and new seminar rooms (left)

L1.5 first


Here’s our earlier post on the project…

Since the University Library opened in 2004, it has become our most-visited building. Library turnstile data and student feedback through the NSS and other channels confirm the evidence of our own eyes: the Library is more popular than ever, and students are spending longer in the Library on each visit.

Within the Library, social learning spaces such as the flexible groupwork area on the ground floor and the group rooms on the upper floors are particularly popular.

The University’s Estates and Library teams have developed a scheme to add much-needed learning and teaching space to the Library during 2012/13. We’re calling it Library Phase 1.5. We are developing the designs further with the Library team, the Learning Spaces Group and our architects, but we wanted to share the plans as they stand today to give you insight into our project development process, and to get your feedback at this early stage.

The University’s first and fourth strategic objectives for 2011-16 are:

To continuously improve our learning environment based on personal engagement with all students through quality research-engaged teaching and learning where students create and develop new knowledge in collaboration with their lecturers

To help students develop into highly engaged, employable and creative-thinking graduates who contribute to the development of the society and economy

— University of Lincoln Strategic Plan 2011-16

One of the Learning Spaces Group‘s key goals is to improve the University’s “central pool” of lecture, seminar and group spaces in which over 1m student-hours of student activity are timetabled each year – so that the design and use of spaces facilitates personal engagement, research-engaged teaching and learning, and the creation and development of new knowledge by students in collaboration with lecturers.

We also need to create and improve the network of spaces and places for independent individual and social learning all over campus, especially along existing ‘desire lines’ – the key axes and loops around the campus which students and staff already use.


Ground floor – new spaces for social and individual learning in the centre of the campus

Our students have told us through the National Student Survey and other channels such as the University’s Student Experience Committee that there is a demand for more informal learning spaces on campus without commercial pressure to buy food or drinks.

The new spaces will be ideally located on the main ‘desire loop’ between the Main Admin Building and the University Library, making it easy for students to drop into before or after timetabled sessions.

The spaces will have excellent Wi-Fi, plenty of conveniently located power sockets for laptops and tablets, and a number of desktop PCs for student and staff use. There will also be a fully enclosed bookable group room.

First floor – two new seminar rooms to support Student as Producer

We’re making a series of changes across the campus to address address student comments from the NSS and other sources that some of our teaching spaces are overcrowded. The University does have a responsibility to operate efficiently, but not at the cost of comfort or teaching and learning quality. The rooms need to be efficient, effective and expressive – reflecting the ideas and ideals of the University of Lincoln as well as the functional requirements for this type of space.

Like the new rooms MB1012, MB1019 and MB1020 currently in construction in the Main Admin Building, we want the new rooms in the Library to support Student as Producer fully. Specifically, the rooms need to support small subgroups of 6-8 students, working within the larger seminar group and sharing their ideas with other subgroups.

As well as their primary function of formal teaching and learning, these rooms will have an important secondary function: providing overspill study space for Library users when teaching is not taking place, especially around exam times. We expect that the Library team will block-book the spaces for open-access study use at these peak pre-exam times. At other times, students will be able to book it via the normal room booking form on the Portal.

Like the ground floor, the rooms on the first floor will have excellent Wi-Fi and plenty of power for laptops. They will be naturally lit, and ventilated with fresh air, not processed.

Kite tables have already proven very popular in the existing flexible groupwork area on the ground floor, and in the smaller groupwork rooms within the David Chiddick Building. Used together in threes or fours, they support groups of 6-8 students, while they are light and mobile enough for individual students to move them away to create individual desks when required.

Option 3 provides excellent support for activities in the Student as Producer paradigm, while also fulfilling the secondary function of overspill space.

Progress updates

Library staff mark the opening of the ground floor extension to the University Library


The Library 1.5 Extension is now complete and looks fantastic! These images (taken on 21 August) show the AV equipment installed and the rooms ready for use.

Congratulations to the Estates and Library teams on creating such a brilliant new learning space.

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With just over a week to completion, the GCW 1.5 Project is looking nearly finished!

These images were taken on 1 August; they show carpets in place, lighting fitted, electrical supply and heating fitted and painting complete. With just AV to go, the rooms are looking absolutely fantastic and they will make a huge difference to the versatility and space of the Library.

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This image shows the ground floor entrance to the new rooms. The extension really opens up and brightens the space.


Wow, we are nearly there! The final glazing went in today (images taken on 26 July) and the interior is looking fantastic. The secondary electrical works are nearly complete and the lighting is up! The painting has also nearly been completed too.

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This is the second update this week, but I thought you might like to see how much has happened in the past two days (images taken on 19 July).

The photos below show that the lighting is nearly up, the electrical sockets are in and the painting is nearly complete!

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The final set of glazing is due to go in next week (the side that faces the Students’ Union), so this week the update focusses on the interior (images taken on 15 July).

The first set of electrical work has taken place, with rigging in for the lights and power supply ready for finishing.

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You will also notice that painting has also begun. The wires hanging down in the image above will be for the lights. The rooms are going to be very open and airy, as natural light floods into the space.

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Work to knock through into the Library has been completed too, this image below shows the existing Library side to the right of the turnstiles in the entrance.


The extension is really beginning to look good now (images taken on 5 July). Externally, the building is pretty much complete apart from some final glazing to be fitted.


Internally, the works are progressing apace, with the ground floor interior well under way.

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Upstairs, the biggest update is that the connection with the existing Library space has been made.



The seminar spaces are going to look fantastic when completed.

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Work continues this week on creating the internal structures and walls. The rooms are really taking shape now! These images were taken on 27 June. 

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Lots to see this week. With the external walls now complete, the focus has shifted towards the internal structure and space. Below you can see the latest images taken on 21 June.

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What a rapid change this week has brought, we now have external walls! Glazing will go in soon, and work will also begin to knock through into the existing building.These images were taken on 13 June.

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Visually it might appear that little has changed over the past week, but we can report that the floors have been concreted and the roof is virtually complete. These images were taken on 6 June. Next, work will begin on glazing.


This week the flooring has progressed enormously. The image below shows the concrete being screened. Pictures taken on 31 May.

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A huge amount of work has taken place since the last update. The roof is now on and the floor works are progressing.

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Work on the ground floor and first floor have continued this week, with the building really taking shape. Below are images taken on 14 May.

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Wow, this building is going up fast! Below are images taken on 8 May. They show that much of the steel work is in place, with the first floor in too.

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The metal structure has starting taking shape this week, with beams beginning to show the full extent of the works (2 May). 


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The foundations are now in! (26 April). Work will begin soon to start adding the metal structure.


The foundation trenches shown below are almost complete, showing the full layout of the extension (22 April). More images will appear towards the end of the week as the structure begins to take shape.

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Foundation preparations are going well with trenches now being dug in time for next week (12 April).

The below images show the site clearance and preparation.

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The programme of works has begun, with the images below showing the site hoardings, site clearance and the beginning of digging.

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Piling will take place between Monday 25 March and Thursday 28 March. From Tuesday 2 April to Friday 5 April, the groundworks team will start to dig the footprint of the building.

University Librarian Ian Snowley said: “Management of noise and any disruption during the Library project has been at the top of our priority list, and Keir’s (the contractor) programme has been drawn up to ensure that any disturbance to Library users is minimsed.

“The potentially noisy work, such as piling and steelwork, has been scheduled in the run-up to Easter, and other work such as breaking through into the Library will take place in the summer. In addition Keir have been given the timetable for exams in UL103/4 (13-31 May) in order to ensure that these are not disrupted.”


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8 thoughts on “Library 1.5

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