In the heart of Oxford, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s 1940’s, Grade ıı listed Weston Library (previously known as Bodleian Library) can be found. Through our reputation for previous work with refurbishments of historical buildings, Wilkinson Eyre architects asked us to help with the specification and regeneration of this historic building, which is a vital resource for academic research in the community.
The project began in 2006 – where the objective was to open up the building to allow more public access and encourage more people to engage with the activities going on inside. We are delighted to have supplied the ironmongery in the new and improved Weston Library; the craftsmanship of each texture compliments the contemporary yet traditional atmosphere when you walk around the building. Each area of the library needed to be carefully considered in order for the existing architecture to adopt the new ironmongery. Some areas have classic, traditional fittings that retain the heritage of the building whilst some are more sleek and modern to tribute new more current regions.
Throughout the 3-year long specification process, we had to overcome some awkward and differing door and frame scenarios requiring us to utilise a numerous array of ironmongery products for timber, metal and existing doors to meet the needs of the client. These included floor springs and pivots, sliding pocket doors, concealed hinges for “secret” doors with cladding, horizontal and upright locks to suit varying door and handle details, access control, automatic door operators as well as bespoke pull handles and escutcheons to the Architect’s design.
One particular challenge we successfully overcame was to recommend a system and solution to their requirements for the relationship between the security and fire systems. It needed to protect the valuable array of material they hold whilst enabling a safe and speedy escape in the event of an emergency. This involved delay to the release of doors, as well as some doors maintaining their security whilst a physical investigation to the emergency was carried out by security.