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British Library Plans Extension and New Facilities

By April 13, 2017Libraries, News

It’s reported today that the British Library is to get a big extension, 100,000 sq ft in all, plus a new entrance hall, extra exhibition space and new facilities for writers and academics who use the library.

Late last year it was reported that the library site was to have a 2.8 acre development to the north of the library dubbed the Knowledge Quarter and this area will be full of commercial firms who use the library and complement its existence.

Now the London Evening Standard has reported this further 100,000 sq ft extension with the news that star architect Richard Rogers is teaming upwith the British Library to bring the ideas to fruition. The plans include a new bespoke headquarters or the data science research centre The Alan Turing Institute, new facilities for school trips and better facilities for users and visitors to the library.

Fans of the building can rest assured that any plans or expansions will be in keeping with the existing building, given the British Library’s Grade I listed status. The Chief Executive of the library, Roly Keating is quotes as saying “We are delighted to have secured such high-calibre partners to help realise our vision of the British Library’s London campus as a truly open, creative centre for knowledge. Sir Colin St John Wilson’s Grade I listed building was one of the great public projects of the last century, and this new partnership will help us to preserve and respect its unique character while creating much-needed extra space both for our growing public audiences and the dynamic research communities in London’s Knowledge Quarter.”

Given that the library is one of the finest cultural institutions in the UK, and given its listed status, nothing is likely to happen quickly, but its said that plans for the new extension will be revealed in the next 18 months.

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