New technology is changing the face of the university library. In undertaking to extend and renovate their 30 year old facility, the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, aspired to create a new model of library for the 21st century and project a new identity for the university.
Increased use of digital media has reduced the emphasis on accommodating physical volumes. In its place our client sought to create a ‘24-hour learning grid;’ a rich variety of teaching, learning and research spaces, from silent to collaborative, to reflect the varying pedagogical needs of the student community.
The buzzing heart of the facility is a glazed atrium linking the old library and new extension, generously proportioned to act as a ‘cross-roads of ideas’. Spaces further removed from this are designed for more silent study.
The high performance twin-wall façade of the new library projects a modern, sophisticated image while also functioning as a solar, thermal and acoustic buffer. The flue formed between the layers of glass assists the natural ventilation of the building while timber brise-soleil prevent direct solar penetration, heat gain and glare.
The completed 10,000sqm facility provides approximately 1700 seats in total, 10 collaborative study rooms, 500 open access IT places, IT teaching rooms, staff administration and ancillary accommodation and a café at entrance level. The total book stock is around 455,000 volumes.
The completed building has fulfilled the original competition brief to re-establish the library as an attractive location for group study and project based learning while remaining conducive to serious academic research.