Hoare Lea wins ACE Award

Hoare Lea
(Photo: Rosario Glorioso/Oxford High Photography)

Hoare Lea has won the building-services (medium firm) category of the Association for Consultancy & Engineering’s Engineering Excellence Awards 2012 for the Gladstone Link, Bodleian Library of Oxford University. Hoare Lea acted as M&E and public-health engineering consultant and also supplied specialist lighting-design services.

The Bodleian Libraries form the largest library system in the UK. Now known as the Gladstone Link, the underground book store beneath Radcliffe Square in Oxford has been converted into two floors of library space housing 240 000 books. The project demonstrates how integrated design and involved clients can product stunningly creative spaces, even within the constraints of a challenging building.

David Oakey, project manager, Oxford University estates department, explains, ‘There was a set of unique challenges on this refurbishment project, which involved creating a vibrant open-access library space in a Grade 1 listed building consisting of two basement floors with extremely limited floor-to-ceiling heights. The building is surrounded by other Grade 1 listed buildings, all of which remained operational during the construction.

‘Hoare Lea rose to the challenge on all the issues faced, including using services to add to the visual vibrancy of the space being created, producing an addition to the university’s Bodleian Libraries that is already proving immensely popular with students and academics alike.’

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