UB You’ve been established in the UK for nearly 25 years now. Would you say that that University
Libraries are your core business?
RR We do work in other areas including archives, records and commercial offices, museums and, with
picture racking, in art galleries but the majority of our work is with university libraries.
UB When you hear that a new library is being planned, how do you proceed?
RR Generally speaking, there are three different organisations involved; the University itself, its
architects and a main contractor. At the design stages, we work with the library and the architects.
Being able to supply and install both static and mobile shelving and with our ability to offer different
colour finishes and materials including glass and veneers for end panels, we are able to meet virtually
every specification. And where existing collections are to be moved into new shelving, we’re also
happy to survey the collection and advise on the best method of storage when it’s moved. Once the
specification is determined, and provided our tender is accepted, we work closely with the
contractor to ensure that the installation is carried out in accordance with the agreed time schedule.
UB What do you think are the reasons for a library or an architect getting in touch with Ecospace?
RR Firstly, before Ecospace was established in the UK, our Austrian parent company, the Forster Group,
won the tender to supply and install the second phase of the shelving in the British Library building in
the Euston Road. That in itself speaks for the quality of our product range and Ecospace has
combined that with a total commitment to working closely with potential clients in order to fulfill
their requirements. That means not only getting the design right but getting the installation done on
schedule and providing an ongoing service once that has been completed. For example, we are
currently moving and rebuilding shelving which was installed sixteen years ago in Kings College
Library in London.
We also can now show potential clients many different completed projects so that they can see for
themselves the work we have done in different libraries and the variations that we are able to offer.
Universities now regularly have diverse collections including rare books, special collections, artwork,
maps etc. Being able to supply all of the necessary types of storage means we’re in a position
to provide a fully comprehensive solution to house diverse collections to co-ordinate finishes and
signage to complement the theme being sought by the architects, designers and the client.
We’ve just completed Birmingham University Library, we’re currently installing shelving in Royal
Holloway’s new library and Lancaster University was completed last year. Other recent projects
Include the Brynmor Jones Library at Hull University, the Laidlaw Library in Leeds and the shelving
throughout the refurnished New Bodleian Library in Oxford (now the Weston Library) which houses
the Special Collections of the Bodleian Library. Phase two of the open-access mobile shelving within
the Bodleian Law Library in Oxford was completed in September last year and perfectly matched
phase one installed some five years previously.