New Library Magdelene College

Project Scope

Construction of The New Library & Archive Centre situated adjacent the Grade I Listed Pepys Library

Approximate Value

£11 million


Magdalene College, University of Cambridge

Completion Date

March 2021


Greater Cambridge Craftmanship Award 2022 Greater Cambridge Best New Building 2022 Wood Awards Gold Award 2021 RIBA National Award 2022 Civic Trust Award 2022

The new Library Building is located on the edge of the Fellows Garden and echoes the gabled form of the adjacent College buildings, including the Grade I Listed Pepys Library. The new three-storey structure includes L-shaped structural facing-brick piers, a series of facing-brick chimneys promoting natural ventilation, spruce glulam beams and exposed cross-laminated timber floor slabs. The roof is constructed with twelve glazed lanterns, also formed with exposed engineered structural timbers with zinc standing seam coverings. The building features projecting bays with oak mullioned windows overlooking the College grounds.

Due to the extent, loadbearing nature and intention for the building to sit comfortably adjacent Pepys Library, the quality of facing brickwork has received utmost attention.  Our team worked closely with the project Architect and The York Handmade Brick Company to develop a suitable blend, comprising 3 brick types and 4 tones, for the 250,000 facing bricks and 75 bespoke shapes. This highly individual project fostered a collaborative approach across all design disciplines with our construction team and specialist supply chain, all focused on delivering a high quality, durable and environmentally sustainable Library Building.


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