Living tree books new home among Lancaster university students

Lancashire University's refurbished library with the Fiscus Tree as a centrepiece
Lancashire University's refurbished library with the Fiscus Tree as a centrepiece
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Library studies have become a whole lot brighter for students at one Lancaster institution.

An eight-metre-high living Ficus tree has been installed inside the newly-created atrium study space at The University of Lancaster’s refurbished library.

The unusual centre piece backdrop forms the centrepiece of a renovation scheme designed by Sheppard Robson and delivered by Styles&Wood, integrated property service group

The the 69-week project saw the creation of a flexible, technology-enabled environment offering a range of individual and group work areas.

New fixtures and furnishings were installed and the team re configured stairs and lifts across the 14,500 sq m building to create more “intuitive and accessible user experience for students.”

Mark Swindlehurst, director of facilities said: “Lancaster University now enjoys a resource that reinforces and reflects the University’s reputation as a world-class centre for teaching and research.

“The re-modelled library offers a flexible, inspiring, technology-enabled environment with a range of individual and group work spaces to support different learning styles.

“Our students and staff are delighted with this contemporary facility, which meets the very highest design standards and the modern needs of its users.”

The existing library, on Alexandra Square, is made up of the original library building constructed in 1967 and an extension added in 1997 to the west. The new design now unites these two structures for the first time,

The scheme was designed with sustainability in mind and the completed library, which is often used by more than 40,000 students a week, is on track to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating.