When Bedford Library was originally conceived of, Royal Holloway had a total student population of around 2,700. Due to accelerated expansion, Bedford Library was serving 4,500 students by the time it opened in 1994. Today, we have nearly 9,000 students and, with only 825 study spaces across Founder’s and Bedford libraries, a chronic shortage of room for students to study on campus.
A core objective of the project, then, is to deliver increased study space in a purpose built environment that takes inspiration from the group study setting of Bedford Library and the evocative silent study area in Founder’s.
Aligned with this goal is the aspiration to bring together frontline student services in a central location on campus. So, Careers & Employability Services, transactional services managed by the Student Services Centre, as well as specialist services such as Archives and the Picture Collection, will also find a home in the new building.
As well as these services, there will be a shop, bank, catering outlet, and areas for students to socialise. As such, we envisage the new building as a location in which all aspects of the student experience outside of the classroom will coalesce, providing a new focal point for students between the iconic Founder’s Building and the Windsor Building.