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Mon April 12 2021

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'Sophisticated' developer sought for British Library extension

3 Sep 15 The British Library is advertising for a developer for a 2.8 acre site adjoining its Grade I listed building at St Pancras in London.

It envisages a mixed-use development that will include additional public spaces for the British Library and a headquarters for the new Alan Turing Institute alongside extensive space for diverse commercial uses.

However, only developers with 'sophisticated' architectural tastes need apply.

The Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council selected the British Library site for the computer science research facility that it is building, named after the World War II Enigma codebreaker, Alan Turing.

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Of the new space created within the new development, the British Library will require approximately 100,000 square feet for its own uses and as the headquarters of the Alan Turing Institute. The spaces for the Library and the Alan Turing Institute will be handed over to the Library as completed shell and core space, ready for fit-out by the Library and the Institute. The remaining development will be for the commercial partner to derive its profit.

The British Library is looking to make an architectural statement with the new development. The contract notice states: “We expect to achieve a development of exceptional architectural distinction to extend and complement architect, Colin St John Wilson's landmark building and its Grade I listed building designation. The developer will need to satisfy the British Library that its lead architect has the capability to meet the very highest standards of architectural quality, sophistication and attention to detail, resolve the multiple requirements into a coherent and elegant design solution and show both understanding of and sensitivity to the social and built environment in which the development will sit.”

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