Radcliffe Science Library wins Environmental Award

14 October 2009

RSL-Link-2The Radcliffe Science Library (RSL) has won an Environmental Award from the Oxford Preservation Trust for the new glazed link between its two buildings. The glazed element between the Jackson and Worthington wings replaced a 1930s extension.

The new architectural feature has been commended for its ‘imaginative introduction of new materials’ and for offering ‘pleasing views of the sky and the original Jackson gable’.

The RSL underwent a major refurbishment which was completed in October 2007. The restoration allowed for the RSL to become a new information and library hub for science and medicine at the University of Oxford. Another major change in its functionality and structure also took place. The RSL used to be a reference library and became a lending library after its relaunch.

Roger Mills, Head of Science Liaison and Specialist Services said: ‘We are very proud of the newly refurbished RSL building and we are pleased to receive this award which recognizes the conservation efforts. The refurbishment project has helped us improve our services and offer many benefits to our readers and users.’

Founded under the will of Dr. John Radcliffe (1652-1714), the library was first housed in the Radcliffe Camera before being transferred to the University museum in 1861. In 1901 it was moved to its present location, now known as the Jackson Wing. In 1934, an extension, the present Worthington Wingwas was added, after the Radcliffe Trustees had presented the Library and its holdings to the Bodleian Library. A further underground extension which accommodates the new physical sciences reading room and a much larger bookstack, the Lankester Room, was completed in 1975.

This is not the first Environmental Award received by the Oxford Libraries. In 2006, certificates were given for the refurbishment and repairs to the Clarendon Building in Broad Street, and for the new entrance steps and ramp to the New Bodleian Library.

The award was made on 6 October 2009 to the University of Oxford, Pringle Richards Sharratt Architects, and Beard Construction. Bob Wyatt received the certificate for the RSL along with representatives from the architects, builders and Oxford University Estates Department (OUED), at a ceremony held in the Newman Rooms, Rose Lane.

The Trust runs an annual Environmental Awards scheme, now in its 32nd year, to recognize projects that make a significant contribution to the conservation and improvement of the built or natural environment of Oxford and its green setting.

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