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Laidlaw Library, Leeds

A hugely accomplished piece of architecture

Credit: Beccy Lane

ADP for University of Leeds

Contract value: £16m

GIA: 5,962m2


The Laidlaw Library is the first building by the University of Leeds to address the public realm in 65 years. Flanked by two grade II listed stone churches, and close to the grade I listed Parkinson Building, the new library uses contemporary materials and technology to respond to this historic context. The finished building is an elegant and precise structure, sitting discreetly in its urban setting. The composition of old and new is a delight. Solid and void are combined to ensure that natural light and ventilation provide an environmentally responsible solution to the needs of users. 

  • Credit: Beccy Lane
  • Credit: Beccy Lane
  • Credit: Beccy Lane
  • Credit: Beccy Lane

The difficult brief was well conceived and exceptionally well interpreted by the architect. The design is extremely complex but rigorously executed in all manner of detail. The interior architecture is a simple palette of concrete floors, walls, some oak and wood wool slabs which dampen sound. It is a hugely accomplished piece of architecture.

See the other winners of the RIBA Regional Awards 2016 – Yorkshire



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