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Supreme Court Library

Supreme Court Library

Commercial & Public Access Award Highly Commended 2004

Location: Edinburgh
Client/Owner: Scottish Court Service
Architect: LDN Architects
Structural Engineer: Halcrow Group
Main Contractor/Builder: Amec Group
Wood Species: American Cherry, American Black Walnut

A stunning piece of work, carried out with intelligent design within a difficult space, is the judges’ description of the Law Library by LDN Architects.

It is part of the first phase of redevelopment of the old Parliament House in Edinburgh. What had been the Exchequer was gutted from the ground floor to the first floor and a mezzanine platform created in the Centre of the void.

The mezzanine became the core library, conceived by the architect as one large piece of ‘furniture’ through which people could move both horizontally and vertically, by means of a central spiral staircase.

Clean, square lines are intended to make the library look as though it has been sculpted out of a single block of American chemy. This effect has been achieved predominantly with careful detailing and immaculate jointing by Luke Hughes & Co.

From the mezzanine level a flying staircase leads to the first floor where a larger area allows for a more conventional layout with peninsular and peripheral bookcases. Here the free-standing bookcases are in American cherry and perimeter bookcases are finished in white lacquer. Overall, the library has more than 900m of shelving.