Original features

November 20, 2008

The Brayford Campus at the University of Lincoln was built on derelict railway sidings and opened by the Queen in 1996. It was the first new city-centre university campus in the UK for 25 years. When the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside was renamed the University of Lincoln in 2001, the campus became the new administrative headquarters.

Still severed by the track that serves the busy East Coast rail network, the site is notable for its regeneration of old industrial buildings. The Great Central Warehouse, once used for goods and grain, was transformed into a university library.

Rather than adopting today's standard model of a learning resource centre, Stem Architects were inspired by the secret monastic library in Umberto Eco's novel The Name of the Rose to create a traditional library where scholars could absorb themselves in private study.

The building's brickwork was cleaned and exposed, the iron and steelwork were shot-blasted and painted, the original winching gear was cleaned, and roof lights were reinstated to provide natural light. The library was completed in 2004 and won a design award from the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Subsequent additions to the Brayford Campus include the Engine Shed student centre and the nearby Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, which opened at the end of last year.

Send suggestions for this architectural series to: matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com.

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