Bay Campus : Bay Library
Swansea University's growth and the opening of a new £450m campus meant the Library had to grow and change. This is the story of how it happened
By 2007 the University knew that it had outgrown its existing Singleton Campus and it began a series of investigations to explore how best to grow. Following consultation a new site was chosen on the outskirts of Swansea.
Following remediation by May 2013 this was the site. The Bay Library will be at the top left
From the outset we aimed to create a Library for the University community which would be a signifier of learning, the 24/7 heart of academic life, and an inspirational space. It was to be a gateway to our digital and print resources, with social and quiet learning spaces and facilities that we would be able to adapt to the changing needs of the coming years.
While these may sound like soundbites, having these principles in place guided us through challenges and opportunities alike over the following years.
As site and building design generally led construction by three years we had to make informed guesses about key areas and services.
While work progressed on the site the Red Arrows visited Swansea Bay
A year later, foundations and steelwork were in place...
... and the rest of the campus was also taking shape
As we travelled through the complexities of the base build, M&E, FFE, and other aspects of construction our Operational Brief was updated to reflect our expectations. This document was used to inform all stakeholders and parties of current thinking on our services. A dedicated Web Page provided background information during the project. A Flickr album provided construction and completion images.
By March 2015, interior work was well underway, ceilings were in place and walls painted
The Bay Library was a relatively small part of a £450m project. Even as a relatively small project - it was necessary to do two things: to care about the build, and to take time to ensure everything was taking place as necessary. Throughout the process the Delivering the Bay Library project group met, planned and tracked progress. The staff in this group allowed all the aspects of the project to effectively develop - from procurement processes to subject support.
On the 1st September 2015, the Bay Library opened its doors.
This happened because hundreds of people, university staff and contractors, designers and architects, suppliers and students, all came together to deliver a building and a service of which we can all justifiably be proud.