SCONUL Library Design Award

The SCONUL Library Design Awards have been running since 1973 and are made every three years. The aim is to encourage good practice in library planning and design and to celebrate outstanding examples of cutting-edge design. Awards are given on the basis of the functional design of buildings rather than purely architectural merit.

2016 SCONUL Library Design Awards 

An event was held in December 2016 at the Museum of London to celebrate the winners. The presentations can be found here.

Development over 2000 sqm

 Library Design Awards 2016 Presentation to The Hive, University of Worcester  Winner: The Hive, University of Worcester

Development under 2000 sqm

Library Design Award 2016 Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield  Winner: Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield

Read the judges' citations of the shortlisted libraries.

View a selection of photos from the shortlisted libraries.


2013 SCONUL Library Design Awards

The full press release can be found here with citations from the libraries in the background note.  A photo album of the libraries can be found here.

An event was held in February 2014 to celebrate the winners. Presentations can be found here.

Development over 2000 sqm 

Joint winners: The McClay Library, Queen’s University Belfast and Augustine House Library and Student Services Centre, Canterbury Christ Church University

Highly Commended: The Forum, University of Exeter

Development under 2000 sqm

Winner: The Ayr Campus Library, University of the West of Scotland and Scotland’s Rural College

Highly Commended: Dame Elizabeth Esteve-Coll Learning Resource Centre, Kingston University


2010 SCONUL Library Design Awards

More information about the 2010 winners can be found here

Development over 3000 sqm

Winner: The David Wilson Library, Leicester University

Development under 3000 sqm

Winner: Trevithick Library, Cardiff University

Three libraries were highly commended:

New Postgraduate Research Library, University College Cork
The Drill Hall Library, Universities at Medway
The Information Commons, University of Sheffield


2007 SCONUL Library Design Awards

Development over 3000 sqm

Winner: Universty of Bournemouth
Highly Commended: Glasgow Caledonian University and Open University

Development under 3000 sqm

Winner: Girton College, Cambridge
Highly Commended: University College London, SSEES Library and University of Warwick Learning Grid

Earlier awards

1996-2000: SCONUL Library Design Award 2002
Frederick Lanchester Library, Coventry University
John and Aileen O'Reilly Library, Dublin City University
Adsetts Centre, Sheffield Hallam University
Hatfield Campus LRC, University of Hertfordshire
1990-1995: Aytoun Library, Manchester Metropolitan University
(and Two ‘highly commended’ St George's Library, University of Sheffield
and Brotherton West Library, University of Leeds)
1986-1989: SCONUL Library Design Award 1992
Queen Mary and Westfield College Library, University of London
The National Library of Scotland, Causewayside Building (Phase 1)
The Joule Library, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology
1982-1985: Durham University Library,
Robinson Library, University of Newcastle
St. Patrick’s College Library, Maynooth
1977-1981: No awards made
1975-1976: Hugh Owen Library, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth
University College Cardiff Library
Arts and Social Sciences Library, University of Bristol
1973-1974: Arts Library, Nottingham University
1971-1972: British Library Document Supply Centre, Boston Spa (main building)