The refurbishment of the Edward Boyle Library at the University of Leeds was a major £17million project taken on by the University and executed by main contractor Galliford Try. Associated Architects, who took on the design of the refurbishment, tried to remain true to the 1970’s architecture and retain design features throughout, including the bespoke furniture.
Contract scope: LiDR supplied all of the bespoke furniture for the project, integrating the requirements of the architect, main contractor, other subcontractors and the end client to provide stunning feature furniture that is fit for purpose. The furniture, installed over 5 floors consisted of special post graduate desks, study desks, bucket seats, PC benches, reception desk and a range of other fitted furniture.
The reception desk had to be a focal point in the foyer of this fantastic new library, whilst still fulfilling all the necessary practical requirements. LiDR mimicked the real Oak wall cladding elsewhere in the building around the front of the desk to ensure that the statement piece looked part of the architecture. The hanging marker light boxes above were also designed and manufactured by LiDR.
In addition, LiDR ensured that the counter would effectively channel the vast amount of M&E services and cabling required at this part of the building, so that everything is hidden from view but accessible for maintenance. We also ensured that DDA access was integrated along with adequate storage on the staff side to make it a pleasant working environment.
The vast majority of the contract was made up of various types of bespoke desking. In a building devoted to study, the correct working environment is of the utmost importance, and a mix of collaborative and private working spaces was a vital part of the ethos of the refurbishment.
Post Graduate: A dedicated, glass walled Post Graduate study area was created on the top floor, and as part of this we developed these special desks with integrated power and lighting. A marmoleum insert in the desk top adds a hint of the traditional to an otherwise modern desk with clean lines and chunky profile.
Perimeter: Around the perimeter of each floor were tiered platforms that had previously been home to old fashioned and cramped desks. LiDR developed replacements that were much more generous in terms of space for the user, and featured integrated power and lighting. The feature at the top of the desk also reflected a major architectural feature that appeared throughout the external of the Grade 2 listed building.
In total, over 250 perimeter desk spaces were created as part of the project.
Atrium desks: The Atrium is one of the outstanding features of the building, At each level, LiDR installed bespoke Atrium desks along the walls creating a stunning visual effect. The desks integrated the same architectural feature as the perimeter desks to maintain the theme, and all included power and lighting. The spaces are ideal for both private and collaborative study and are one of the most eye-catching elements of the project.
The style was replicated in other areas to maintain the theme throughout.
Bucket seats: One of the visions for the refurbishment was to open up areas of the building for collaborative study, and these perimeter bucket seats designed and manufactured by LiDR offer a more informal setting in which to do so. The bespoke upholstery used the same fabric specified elsewhere in the building.
Other bespoke elements:
LiDR developed a number of bespoke stand alone items, such as housing for photocopiers (pictured left), banks of lockers and height adjustable desks (below). Throughout the project we were able to demonstrate our innovation in design, and experience in manufacturing to produce a range of high quality furniture that was in line with the brief, on budget and delivered on time.
“The University is delighted with the quality of the furniture provided for its newly refurbished Edward Boyle Library by LiDR. LiDR have been responsive to requests for bespoke features, delivering furniture that is both extremely functional, but in keeping with the overall design of the building scheme”
The University Librarian, University of Leeds (Dr Stella Butler).
“From the initial drawings to the installation they performed well and provided good technical advice…at all times their cooperation and collaboration was excellent with all parties which contributed to the success of the overall project”
Roger Spark, Contracts Manager, Galliford Try
If you would like any more details about the scope of our contract at The Edward Boyle Library or if you would like to discuss a similar project or arrange to visit our showroom, please contact Eleanor Owen by emailing email@example.com or by telephone on 01782 413600.