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Thinking Inside the Box!

Department of Health Library resource area is now complete at The Quarry House in Leeds
4th April 2014

As part of the wider series of internal reorganisation works we are undertaking for the Department of Health in Quarry House, Leeds, Stephen George & Partners has recently completed a library resource and open learning area in, this, the largest government building outside London.

The Department of Health, through our client Telereal Trillium, needed a new home for its internal technical library along with an open learning area and management facility. The only available existing space within Quarry House was in a five storey atrium attached to one of the landscaped courtyards. This semi-external area experiences significant heat loss through the single-glazed enclosure and was not originally intended to be used as an occupied workspace.

In order to provide a viable work space suitable for seated staff and groups undergoing training, we proposed a secondary ‘pod’ within the atrium. Of mainly structural glass construction, the new enclosure allows daylight to continue to reach the internal office areas both within and adjacent to the atrium.

To provide privacy for groups working within the library, the windows overlooking the atrium were fitted with translucent film. To compensate for loss of views, internal artificially lighted rock gardens were provided to give visual separation between the new enclosure and the adjacent offices. Cleaning and maintenance access over the enclosure is maintained by a trafficable roof panel and permanent platform /scaffolding attachment points on the internal wall above.

Services and lighting are exposed beneath the glazed roof and maintenance access walkway. This integrated services approach required great care and attention to detail from the design team; especially Nifes Consulting Group who was responsible for the services design and IMS (Office Fitting & Design) Limited who executed the project to an extremely high standard. Cost control and contract administration was by Aecom (Leeds).

Photograph is by Jon Knight of Nifes Consulting Group