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The London School of Economics and Political Science has the world’s largest and most important social sciences library. The redevelopment of the library building safeguards the future of the school’s four million books by improving environmental standards, and provides 500 extra student workplaces and new accommodation for the school’s Research Centre.

Built in 1914, the Lionel Robbins building was converted into a library in 1973. The renovation retains the basic building fabric and maintains the integrity of the façades, although the windows have been replaced.

A central atrium has been created by removing the façades of an internal lightwell and extending the floor-plates to encircle a cylindrical space. This increases the floor area, improves circulation and introduces daylight into the heart of the building. The atrium has been driven through to the basement and houses a helical ramp and a pair of glass lifts, which provide the main vertical circulation through the building.

A dome caps the atrium. It has a glazed section cut at an angle to admit north light, allowing maximum daylight penetration without problems of glare and solar gain. The dome also assists natural ventilation: air drawn in through windows at the perimeter of the library rises as it warms and escapes through vents in the dome’s glazing.

Book-shelves radiate from the atrium to create clearly defined passageways, and quiet study areas are positioned at the perimeter of each floor. A new fifth floor accommodates the Research Centre, which has its own entrance.

Masdar Institute
2015 - Abu Dhabi, UAE

Masdar Institute

Faustino Winery
2010 - Gumiel de Izán, Spain

Faustino Winery

James H. Clark Center, Stanford University
2003 - Stanford, USA

James H. Clark Center, Stanford University

University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital
2016 - Iowa , USA

University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital

Edward P. Evans Hall, Yale School of Management
2014 - New Haven, USA

Edward P. Evans Hall, Yale School of Management

SkyCycle
2013 - London, UK

SkyCycle

Château Margaux
2015 - Bordeaux, France

Château Margaux

Langley Academy
2008 - Slough, UK

Langley Academy

Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge
1995 - Cambridge, UK

Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge

California State University Channel Islands
2008 - Camarrillo, USA

California State University Channel Islands