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Durham University

Accommodation & Estates Developments

Library learning café and study spaces

Status: Completed

Work began: April 2018 (100 new study places)

Work completed: Epiphany Term, 2019

Cost: £1.5 million

Partners: GSSArchitecture; Couch, Perry & Wilkes; Billinghurst, George & Partners and Identity Consult

Brief: To reorganise space within the Bill Bryson Library to create 200 additional study spaces, to relocate the Library Cafe into the eDen space, and relocate the CIS Help Desk

Project sponsor: Professor Claire Warwick

Estates project manager: Simon Watt

More information:

Relocating academic programmes and colleges from Queen’s Campus in Stockton to Durham City was an integral part of our University Strategy, 2017-2027. The aim was to improve the quality of our educational programmes and wider student experience. The Bill Bryson Library improvement works means that the ratio of study spaces to students stays the same - even when accounting for the relocation of staff and students previously at Queen’s. There are also four new accessible study rooms, with improved disability support study space, installed on Level 1. The project has improved the availability of catering and space for students to eat in the Library.

Space within the Library was re-organised

  • to create 200 additional study spaces
  • the Library Café was refurbished and relocated into the eDen space on level 2
  • and the CIS Help Desk was relocated into the existing Library Café space.

Work to create the additional 200 study spaces has now been completed. The revamped “Small Island Coffee” library café (named after Bryson’s best-selling travelogue) is also now ready to serve students, staff, and visitors hot coffee, fresh food, and much more. Coffee is sourced via direct trade agreements and roasted in Northallerton.

The improvement project was finished in Epiphany Term, 2019.

The Small Island Coffee library cafe

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