The building’s form and design are driven by its physical context on campus and in response to passive environmental criteria. The design seeks to optimise natural daylighting, ventilation and cooling to meet the functions and activities within. The building orientates itself on the site to exploit the steeply sloping topography and to enhance the natural flow of people movement throughout the campus.
Developed in response to its location, the design is constructed around a cruciform plan with a linear atrium along its spine. This atrium route links the east and west sides of the campus and sets the library at the heart of student activity. The plan-form allows centralised control of the library, and ensures good links between all wings on all floors, whilst affording the opportunity for each floor of each wing to have a different type of study environment.
Using a balance of passive design and renewable technologies, the building incorporates a range of tools that aim to minimise energy consumption and carbon emissions. These include free night time cooling via BMS controlled louvres and internally exposed thermal mass; natural low velocity air displacement via a central “windcatcher”; rainwater harvesting; use of solar power; as well as embedded design principles and architectural features that exploit natural lighting and views while protecting against glare and solar gain.