John Rylands Library, University of Manchester
The University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library houses one of the world’s finest collections of books and manuscripts in one of the most impressive neo-Gothic buildings in Europe. For many years, however, the building was difficult to negotiate and maintain with many inaccessible areas and a lack of visitor facilities. Working with conservation architect Lloyd Evans Prichard, Austin-Smith:Lord’s brief was to ‘unlock’ the Rylands by preserving the existing buildings and collections whilst enhancing the Library’s accessibility and public profile.
Austin-Smith:Lord designed a striking new five-storey extension to the Grade I listed building aimed at raising the Library’s public profile. The design added a new public entrance with café and shop,10,000 linear metres of archive storage, a conservation workshop and a reading room.
CLIENT: UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
SERVICE: ARCHITECTURE, LANDSCAPE
SECTOR: EDUCATION, ARTS & CULTURE
LANDSCAPE: AUSTIN-SMITH: LORD
STRUCTURES: CURTINS CONSULTING
COST CONSULTANT: APPLEYARD & TREW
2008 RIBA AWARD