Bodleian renovation continues

first_imgThe extensive demolition of a large part of the new Bodleian Library was revealed earlier this week as scaffolding came down from the Broad Street building site. The building has been undergoing reconstruction over the past two years. This new development gives an indication of the change that is taking place in the architecture of central Oxford.The New Bodleian, constructed in the 1930’s to house a vast and varied collection of literature and manuscripts, was designed to be a fortress and was further reinforced during the bombardment of the Second World War. While the original building adhered to the traditional Oxford quad design, the new build, dubbed the Weston Project, hopes to open up this central space and make it more publicly accessible. The glass fronted building will face out onto Broad Street and the Old Bodleian library. The project is on schedule, working towards an opening for students in Autumn 2014 with an official opening in Spring 2015. It has cost more than £80 million, coming from a wide variety of sources. Whilst the architect acknowledged that “the existing building is in one of the most historically sensitive parts of the city” it appeared that there was need for development. New reading rooms, research facilities and exhibition space will be added. With regards to the destruction of the building, Suzanne de la Rosa, a spokesperson for the Bodleian Libraries, said,  “in order for us to have the calibre of building and the sort of spaces that were needed for users, staff and collections the interior of the building did need to be revamped. We feel the end result will be a good mix of the old and the new.”She added that refurbishment of the New Bodleian building is part of a larger scheme to revitalize Oxford’s historic Broad Street by creating a new public square.De la Rosa added, “The building did not meet current British standards in terms of fire protection and conservation and that needed to be addressed. But that is not the sole reason for the redevelopment. This was the impetus to get us thinking about the kind of libraries that our users and Oxford needed and that was appropriate for our collections.” The new Library will eventually store a large proportion of the treasures of the Bodleian, including both Shakespeare’s first folio and the remaining original Magna Cartas, alongside thousands of other precious literary artefacts. The development is not received enthusiastically by all students. Abdul-Rahman Jama, a third year student at Balliol College, stated, “I could not possibly care less what is happThe extensive demolition of a large part of the new Bodleian Library was revealed earlier this week as scaffolding came down from the Broad Street building site. The building has been undergoing reconstruction over the past two years. This new development gives an indication of the change that is taking place in the architecture of central Oxford.The New Bodleian, constructed in the 1930’s to house a vast and varied collection of literature and manuscripts, was designed to be a fortress and was further reinforced during the bombardment of the Second World War.While the original building adhered to the traditional Oxford quad design, the new build, dubbed the Weston Project, hopes to open up this central space and make it more publicly accessible. The glass fronted building will face out onto Broad Street and the Old Bodleian library. The project is on schedule, working towards an opening for students in Autumn 2014 with an official opening in Spring 2015. It has cost more than £80 million, coming from a wide variety of sources.Whilst the architect acknowledged that “the existing building is in one of the most historically sensitive parts of the city” it appeared that there was need for development. New reading rooms, research facilities and exhibition space will be added. With regards to the destruction of the building, Suzanne de la Rosa, a spokesperson for the Bodleian Libraries, said,  “in order for us to have the calibre of building and the sort of spaces that were needed for users, staff and collections the interior of the building did need to be revamped. We feel the end result will be a good mix of the old and the new.”She added that refurbishment of the New Bodleian building is part of a larger scheme to revitalize Oxford’s historic Broad Street by creating a new public square.De la Rosa added, “The building did not meet current British standards in terms of fire protection and conservation and that needed to be addressed. But that is not the sole reason for the redevelopment. This was the impetus to get us thinking about the kind of libraries that our users and Oxford needed and that was appropriate for our collections.” The new Library will eventually store a large proportion of the treasures of the Bodleian, including both Shakespeare’s first folio and the remaining original Magna Cartas, alongside thousands of other precious literary artefacts. The development is not received enthusiastically by all students. Abdul-Rahman Jama, a third year student at Balliol College, stated, “I could not possibly care less what is happlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *