• 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
  • 2005
  • 2003
  • 2002
  • 2001
  • 2000
  • 1999
  • 1998
  • 1997
  • 1995
  • 1993
  • 1992
  • 1991
  • 1990
  • 1989
  • 1988
  • 1987
  • 1986
  • 1985
  • 1984
  • 1982
  • 1979
  • 1977
  • 1972
  • 1971
  • 1969
  • 1968
  • 1966
  • 1965
  • 1960
  • 1956
  • Blows Yard
  • 16 Winchester Walk
  • BFI Mediatheque
  • Jerram Falkus Office Fit-out
  • Conkers Aerial Walkway
  • Eastfields Estate Regeneration
  • Spring at Stonebridge Park
  • Maitland Park
  • RHS Hyde Hall Restaurant
  • National Automotive Innovation Centre
  • RHS Garden Bridgewater
  • Artist's House, Brixton
  • Bristol Harbourside Building 3a
  • IVIC: BIMSpace
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Holy Cross Primary School
  • Cherry Tree Children's Centre
  • Bristol Harbourside Building 4
  • Emerald Circus
  • Bunhill 2 Energy Centre
  • Pontifex Wharf
  • Hide House
  • RHS Hyde Hall Learning Centre
  • House in Hampstead
  • Central Building Refurbishment
  • Baldwin Terrace Residential Development
  • Rosendale Primary School
  • Cryfield Energy Centre
  • IINM
  • RE-Fab House
  • Maggie's Newcastle
  • Guardbridge Energy Centre
  • City University London
  • Foundry
  • Shenley Academy
  • BFI Master Film Store
  • Palestinian Museum
  • Forest Gate Community School
  • Shahat Garden City
  • Brampton Manor Academy
  • Torriano Junior School Gatehouse
  • Institute for Sustainability
  • Evans Granary
  • Olisa Library
  • The Green Mountain Project
  • John Hope Gateway
  • Kew Herbarium, Library, Art & Archives Wing
  • Letchworth Transition Town
  • Stonebridge Hillside Hub
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Richmond Park Golf Clubhouse
  • International Digital Laboratory
  • Cambridge Conservation Campus
  • Bristol Harbourside Building 9
  • Bristol Harbourside Building 3b
  • Masshouse Block D
  • Gateway to Petra
  • Singapore Management University
  • Purcell School Music Centre
  • Barge Arm Development
  • Heart of the Forest Masterplan
  • Bristol Harbourside Building 10
  • Penarth Heights Regeneration
  • Li Ka Shing Library
  • Lewisham Young People's Centre
  • Centre for Mathematical Sciences
  • Education and Interpretation Centre
  • Downland Gridshell
  • International Manufacturing Centre
  • Millennium Primary School & Health Centre
  • Bristol Harbourside Masterplan
  • Faculty of Divinity
  • Private House
  • UEL Docklands Campus
  • Ludgate Hill
  • Chester Amphitheatre Hotel
  • Hooke Park
  • Pittville Art College Campus Masterplan
  • Archaeolink Visitor Centre
  • University of North Carolina Masterplan
  • Clach Mhor
  • St John's College Library
  • Goldney Hall Student Residences
  • Petershill House
  • Fountains Abbey Visitor Centre
  • BP International Group Learning Centre
  • Bedfont Lakes Offices
  • Charles Cryer Theatre
  • RMC International HQ
  • Farnborough Grange Junior School
  • Chilworth Park Research Centre
  • Morrison Street
  • MacIntyre Milton Keynes
  • Crookham Junior School
  • Beechwood Lodge Hostel
  • Copped Hall Offices
  • Lambeth Community Care Centre
  • Whittington Centre
  • Uplands Conference Centre
  • Westoning Manor
  • Winchester College Arts Centre
  • St Mary's Church
  • Royal Opera House
  • Calthorpe Park School
  • Charlie Chaplin Adventure Playground
  • Bradwell Common 2
  • Westmoreland Road
  • Leighton Crescent
  • Highgrove Housing
  • Olivetti's New Branches
  • Branksome Hilders, Olivetti
  • Minster Lovell Conference Centre
  • House on the South Downs
  • Garrett House
  • Camden Mews
  • Bartholomew Villas
  • Horder House
  • Marvin House
  • Bell Tout Lighthouse
View: Grid List
St John's College
University of Cambridge
Colin Rice
Davis Langdon, Hannah Reed Associates, Max Fordham LLP, Arup Acoustics, RG Carter
RIBA Regional Award (1995)

Our expertise in library projects began with a new library for St John’s College, which reuses an existing College building.

St John's College Library

The existing collection of books and manuscripts had long outgrown its 17th century library. The library we designed is located in the shell of the 1888 Penrose Building, adjacent to the existing library. 

The original brief called for the southern part of the building to be replaced with a totally climatically controlled box, with sealed walls and air-conditioning. We advised that the Penrose building should be saved and adapted. 

In order to provide a modern learning space, the interior was cleared and a new cross axis with entrance porch and apse was created. This provided space for well-lit corner reading bays that have delightful views over Chapel Court and the Master’s Garden, as well as back towards the original building. 

The library is characterised by its integration of a wide variety of comfortable reading spaces with the book collection. 


Since the completion of the Upper Library in 1628, the College Library had been gradually expanding into nearby residential accommodation. Book storage had become cramped and unsatisfactory and reader places were insufficient for the growing number of students in the College.

The confined spaces of the College’s historic buildings also did not lend themselves to the installation of computer equipment on the scale required.

After various feasibility studies it was decided to build the new College Library on the site of the southern part of the 1888 Penrose building in Chapel Court, adjacent to the existing Library buildings.

We proposed to keep and transform the Penrose building by making a new crossing with wings extending into the Court and the Master’s Garden. 

In the Court, the crossing makes a gable and porch which address the Gilbert Scott Chapel across Chapel Court. In the Garden, it forms an apse, octagonal at its base, becoming semicircular as it rises upwards. 

The southern section of the Court was dramatically remodelled to create a foreground to both the Chapel and the new Library. 

Special bricks were made to match those of the Penrose building. Clipsham stone was used for repairs to the existing building and Ancaster Weatherbed for the new work.

The new library inserted into the 1888 Penrose building


Conventional air-conditioning was avoided, with natural ventilation throughout the open book-stack areas. 

This was achieved by using the thermal mass of the existing masonry structure and a system of external columns supporting a grid of sunshades, and opening windows that enable comfortable temperatures to be maintained throughout the year. 

The main circular staircase tower is topped by a dramatic glass and steel lantern containing a simple rotating fan and ventilation louvres. On hot days these are triggered automatically to help expel waste heat through the lantern, whilst drawing fresh air in from the windows.