New University Library project

Read the latest information about this exciting project on the 
New University Library Blog.

Share your views on new plans to transform the University’s Campus Heart

We have developed our latest design for the landmark new University Library, including exciting plans to transform the area around Tyndall Avenue in Clifton. The plans include a new civic square, with proposed new road layouts to improve traffic flow, enhance the pedestrian and cycling routes and make the whole area enjoyable, safer and accessible for everyone.

Following feedback from University staff, students and local resident groups on the initial plans, the updated pre-application planning proposals, which have been submitted to Bristol City Council this week, will be open for public consultation, with design plans (PDF, 4,573kB) being displayed in Beacon House reception and in The Hawthorns, from 1 October until 21 October. The plans and survey will be available online on the blog from Tuesday 1 October.

You are also invited to complete an online survey during this period.

Staff and Students preview drop-in events

  • Monday 30 September (4.00pm - 5:30pm) – Beacon House, seminar room, ground floor.
  • Tuesday 1 October (11:30 – 1.00pm) – Beacon House, seminar room, ground floor.

Public drop-in events 

These events will be an opportunity to talk to the University Library team, alongside architects, Hawkins Brown, transport consultants, Arup and landscape architects, Grants.

  • Tuesday 1 October, (5.00pm – 8.00pm) - Beacon House foyer/café, ground floor
  • Tuesday 15 October (3.00pm-5.00pm) - Beacon House foyer/café, ground floor

Following feedback from the consultation exercise and Bristol City Council, the University is aiming to submit the full planning application in January 2020. 

The consultation has been coordinated by Avril Baker Consultancy 
T: 0117 977 2002

Context: the Campus Heart Programme

In 2015-16 we co-created a bold and exciting University Strategy that encompasses a wide range of ambitions. We listened to what students and staff asked for - more space at the centre to work, to share ideas and relax with each other. In particular, our students have changed dramatically in both their numbers and diversity and its vital our spaces meet the needs of scholars drawn from different cultures across the world. Campus Heart is the name for the University’s development programme to transform the spaces and services around Tyndall Avenue - creating opportunities for staff, students, external partners (local and international) and our community - to come together to learn and study, get help and support, be social and just relax. Campus Heart is part of the way we are delivering the priorities of the University Strategy by transforming the space, and the relationships that happen in and around the buildings.

New University Library

New University Library, view from Elton Road looking east 
Hawkins\Brown & Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

A library is at the heart of any university. It’s a place where we can learn and connect with each other and with new ideas. It should be somewhere to be quiet and reflective as well as social and collaborative.

We are building a New University Library at the centre of the University of Bristol, a flagship project within Campus Heart. The New University Library will have incredible natural light and views, a rich resource of texts and special collections, excellent digital infrastructure and technology. It will be a stimulating and nurturing learning environment that will provide:

  • a café and exhibition gallery space to showcase the new Centre for Cultural Collections, open to all

  • a place to host a year-round timetable of events

  • library book and journal collections, including the Theatre Collection, one of the world's leading collections of British theatre history, and our extensive Special Collections

  • new ways to engage with the City and its communities by delivering an exciting spectrum of social, cultural and academic engagement activities in purpose-built facilities

  • a world-class academic environment, fostering innovation in teaching, improving student attainment and facilitating new research partnerships

The New University Library will be built on the site of the current Hawthorns building. Work will start in autumn 2019, and will be completed in 2023-24.


Our Objectives and Vision for the New University Library

1. Supporting wellbeing

We will incorporate the latest innovations in design theory and practice to ensure the library best supports the wellbeing of our students and staff. Carefully designed spaces will provide a sense of relaxation and support, particularly for our students who spend extended hours in the facility.

2. Inclusive and accessible

The new library space will be welcoming to all users, as an environment where diversity is valued and everybody feels supported. All aspects of the building will facilitate ease of accessibility for all.

3. Inspirational

The architecture will delight and inspire innovation and discovery. It will be a building with spaces that create opportunities for intellectual pursuit and elevated thinking. Maximising natural light and views will be essential. There will be opportunities to engage with the city and beyond. Our rich and unique Cultural Collections will inspire creativity and new uses.

4. Adaptable

The building will seamlessly adapt to new ways of learning and researching, to accommodate new technologies and services that will develop over the next 50 years.

5. Built to last, sustainable, complementary to heritage surroundings

The building will be designed to meet high sustainability building standards. The proposed site is within a conservation area. The building design will take account of and be sensitive to its surroundings, whilst offering a flagship building commending the value of education and research endeavour, and exciting the senses.


News and latest updates

Further information can be found on the New University Library Blog.

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