The University of Worcester in the UK has opened its £60m library and history centre, The Hive, after ten years of planning.
The building provides 10,000m² of public space spanning five floors and houses 250,000 books and more than 26,000 records of historic buildings and monuments.
Located on the banks of the River Severn, the building also houses a children’s library and 800 study stations.
According to the university, natural materials are a key part of the building; a floating wooden staircase cuts through the centre of the building, stretching towards the wooden-lined roof.
The building uses renewable energy, has recycling facilities throughout, and makes maximum use of controlled natural light and ventilation.
The library will be heated using biomass boilers and use water from the River Severn to provide supplementary cooling.
A large below-ground duct has also been created to supply air naturally to the bottom of the main atrium space, while on every level there will be large windows to offer panoramic views of Worcester.
The ground floor features Worcestershire County Council’s hub, a cafe and the children’s library. The upper floor houses the county council’s history centre and archaeology service.
The project has been funded by a £40.9m private finance initiative, as well as £6.6m from the county council, £10m from the university, £7m from Advantage West Midlands and £300,000 from Worcester City Council.
Image: The building contains 10,000m² of public space over five floors and houses 250,000 books. Photo: University of Worcester.