St John’s College, Oxford unveils new baroque-inspired library

The new library connects to two historic, Grade I-listed libraries

St John’s College, Oxford has unveiled a new baroque-inspired library and study centre.

The three-storey library is connected to the college’s 16th-century Old Library and 17th-century Laudian Library.

The zero-carbon 1940m2 centre uses renewable energy from solar panels and a ground source heat pump.

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St John’s College library will house an archive collection in the basement (credit: Hufton Crow)

The building will house hard-copy media, digital media and special collections, as well as 120 seats for silent study and peer-to-peer learning spaces. The building includes a librarian’s office and a dedicated space for researchers to view special collections. Archives are stored in the centre’s basement which includes over 2,700 metres of shelving.


Read more: Bristol University reveals plans for ‘landmark’ library


Adjustable desks make the space for accommodating for wheelchair users.

Prof Maggie Snowling, president of St John’s College said, “When St. John’s College decided to build a new library and study centre, it had a long list of requirements. Since it would be the first time in the college’s history that it had built a library specifically for its undergraduates and graduates, it had to cater for the diverse study needs of current and successive generations of students, and it was also important to consider the impact of the library on the environment.”

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The new library has over 100 seats for silent study (credit Hufton Crow)