Magdalene - IW


The new building is sited in a highly sensitive historic setting, along the boundary wall between the enclosed space of the Master's Garden and the more open space of the Fellows' Garden. lts placement extends the quadrangular arrangement of buildings and courts that developed tram the monastic origins of the college site. The new building replaces cramped and poorly equipped facilities in the adjacent Grade 1 Listed Pepys Building with a larger library, incorporating an archive facility and a picture gallery.

We wanted to make the building a journey that gradually rose up towards the light. On the way up there would be rooms, galleries and places to perch with a book. At the top, there would be views out aver the lawn towards the water. We wanted to create a variety of ways tor someone to situate themselves depending on inclination. You might sit in a grand hall, a small room,or tuck yourself into a tiny privateniche 

A regular grid of brick chimneys supports the floors and bookstacks and carries warm air up to ventilate the building. Between each set offour chimneys there is a roof lantern bringing light down into the spaces below: air rising and light falling This regular array produces a natural hierarchy with narrow zones tor circulation and wide zones tor reading rooms. The materiality and torm of the new library are derived both tram its context and tram the College's brief to make a highly durable and sustainable building. The older college buildings are of load bearing brick, with timber floors and gabled pitched roofs structures. Brick chimneys animate the skyline and stone tracery picks out the fenestration. We tried to make the new building tram this set of architectural elements. We used timber instead of stone tor our window tracery, which will weather aver time to become a silvery grey like the stone. We worked carefully with our builders to find a variety of bricks that would match the tapestry-like quality of the older College buildings.

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