The Squire Law Library - University of Cambridge, Sidgwick Site, UK

Foster & Partners
Date Built
Opened 1996
On the University of Cambridge's Sidgwick Site

The Law Faculty of the University of Cambridge, in a document entitled "The Squire Law Library...rediscovered", says this about the Squire Law Library, "This is a building which allows the Law Faculty, with its considerable administrative needs, and the Squire Law Library to be housed under one roof. Offices, study areas, common rooms and lecture theatres are also included. The new library has space for expansion on the open stacks; there are storerooms; and there is vastly increased reader seating (a total of 530 spaces now being available)."

They add that, "The striking architectural backdrop of Foster’s building has provided the perfect chance to establish the Squire as a research centre for the scholar of the 21st century. The spacious ambience with the curved northern glass façade, the terraced floors and the awe-inspiring atrium provide an almost futuristic feel."

Apparently the building is known on campus as "the bread-bin".

Foster's website notes that,
"The building is highly energy-efficient. Its partially buried structure and exposed concrete frame combine to give it high thermal mass, making it slow to respond to outside temperature changes. Together with high insulation values, this allows the use of mechanically assisted natural ventilation throughout - only the lecture theatres require seasonal cooling. A lighting management system reduces energy consumption, while heat recovery coils, linked to the air extract, reclaim waste heat."