De Montfort University library

The winning team will create a new ‘next generation’ library extension intended to promote new approaches to research and learning at the university, which is part-way through a £200 million regeneration of its city centre campus.

The project, planned to complete in 2027, will focus on refurbishing the Eva Jiricna Architects-designed Kimberlin Library and creating a new infill structure connecting it to the neighbouring Eric Wood building with which will either be refurbished or demolished and replaced.

According to the brief: ‘We are planning an ambitious reimagining that will support a diverse student body and which will facilitate new forms of research and learning. A new library extension and redesign of the current space, including thermal improvements [that] will help create the conditions for success for our students and faculty, and establish a model for a next generation library.

‘It will offer access to expert services that extend beyond the walls of the library to support student learning and academic success, to support research, digital scholarship and transformations to scholarly communication.

‘Creating a new library offer will also foster new opportunities to engage with the city, region and its communities by delivering an exciting spectrum of social, cultural and academic engagement activities. Both digital and physical, dynamic and enduring, empowering and inspiring.’

De Montfort University has its campus in the heart of the city immediately next to Leicester Castle. It focuses on art and design, health, business and law, and computing and media; and has more than 22,000 students.

Landmark buildings on the city centre campus include the 1993 Queen’s Building by Short and Associates, and the historic Hawthorn Building by local firm Pick Everard.

So far the university has spent around £136 million on its regeneration programme, with projects including the new Vijay Patel Building by CPMG Architects and an overhaul of the Campus Centre by the same architect.

Moss Architecture, CPMG Architects and MICA Architects were all chosen for De Montfort University’s new £6 million professional services framework – covering laboratories, student residences and new teaching areas – two years ago.

The latest two-stage procurement will select a lead principal designer or architect along with accompanying services such as structural engineering, services engineering, fire engineering, acoustic engineering, interior design, landscape design and the commissioning of surveys.

Six shortlisted teams will be invited to submit tenders during the competition’s second round. Bids to deliver the contract will be evaluated 65 per cent on quality and 35 per cent on cost. Applicants must hold employer’s liability insurance of £5 million, public liability insurance of £5 million and professional indemnity insurance of £10 million.

Competition details

Project title 2097 Lead Designer/Architect for the re-development of the new Library at De Montfort University *restricted procedure*
Client De Montfort University
Contract value £30 million
First round deadline 5pm, 28 September 2023
Restrictions A minimum of £7.5m turnover is required for the lead bidder. Experience of large capital projects in the higher education sector valued at £30 million and above is also required
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