High quality facilities for disadvantaged students
MCW Architects for University of Bedfordshire
Contract value: £25m
Cost per m²: £3,609
New Library is a highly visible first step in the regeneration of Luton town centre. The university is a major investor in the area, and its buildings are of different scale and quality to its surroundings. The nine-storey building offers a transparent, open ground floor that encourages the public to enter, with the library security barriers purposefully pushed back. This is a generous gesture in this rundown part of town.
The building is investing in high quality facilities for disadvantaged students, filled with books and a dazzling array of screens, tables and sofas, with specifically designed areas for silent working. Every effort has been made to link these spaces. Slim lightwells give views onto study activity below and hold-open fire doors on the stair ease circulation.