The Sir Duncan Rice Library

The University of Aberdeen’s iconic modern library stuns with simple style and brute beauty. A glass box style building, its walls are poems by pattern, engravings that sing like rain on a roof, the sound of nature in sculpture.

The Sir Duncan Rice Library pictured from the outside, a glass box building with unique patterns on its glass walls

Inside, the architectural vision is profound. Gaze in wonder through the ascending levels, a staircase of light, a poem of petals: a flower that unfurls towards the sun.

A view through the hollow ascending levels of the library, which rise towards the light at the top of the building

The Sir Duncan Rice Library opened in 2012, with over 1,200 study spaces throughout its seven floors. It was designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and is named in tribute to Sir Duncan Rice (20 October 1942 – 3 February 2022), a Principal of the University from 1996 to 2010.

The Library is intended for community as well as university use, with a café on the ground floor and a gallery for exhibitions and displays. More information (University of Aberdeen website)

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