RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist 2016
Civic Trust Award 2017
AJ100 Building of the Year 2016
AJ Retrofit Awards Listed Project 2016
Oxford Preservation Trust Awards 2015
At the heart of Oxford’s historic core, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s 1940s, Grade II listed, New Bodleian Library (now known as the Weston Library) is once more a vital resource for academic research. WilkinsonEyre was appointed to refurbish the library as a new, outward facing, cultural and intellectual landmark.
The idea was to open the building, allowing more public access and engagement with the resources and activities inside. New exhibition and seminar spaces were created to draw upon the extraordinary resources of the Bodleian’s collections.
Scott’s New Bodleian was never designed as a public building – it was essentially a storage facility, focused entirely on the bookstack and its contents. In 2010 the University opened a new storage facility at South Marston near Swindon and with some of the bookstack space at the New Bodleian freed up, WilkinsonEyre celebrated its heritage by designing voids up through the building that frame the central bookstack volume, bringing in daylight in a controlled way.
While the project is strongly focused on improving storage and research facilities inside the building, it also offers an opportunity to boost the library’s relationship with its unique urban setting in central Oxford’s historic core. A new public entrance loggia addresses Broad Street, connecting Weston Library with an important series of major University buildings – Sheldonian Theatre, Radcliffe Camera, Old Schools Quadrangle and Clarendon Building.