The Hive by Feilden Clegg
Bradley Studios

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Slideshow: just like the museum we published yesterday, this library in Worcester, England, by architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios is covered with shimmering squares of golden metal.

The Hive by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Positioned on the riverbank between the city centre and one of the campuses for Worcester University, the four-storey building contains an academic library for students, a public library, a county archive and a local history centre.

The Hive by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

An extruded roof comprising seven rectangular cones divides the building into a conjoined cluster of blocks, which reflect the arrangement of rooms and spaces within.

The Hive by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

These chimney-like forms draw light and ventilation into each of the reading rooms, as well as into a central atrium that connects each of the floors.

The Hive by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Balconies and staircases are picked out in ash, while a set of red, yellow and blue-painted volumes are slotted between rooms on one floor to provide a row of informal reading spots.

The Hive by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The building will open in July.

The Hive by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

In the last year Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios have also completed a hospital unit for sick or premature babies, which you can see here.

The Hive by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Photography is by Hufton & Crow.

The Hive by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Here's some more text from the architects:

UK’s first purpose-built joint-use library to open in July

The Hive which will open in July is the UK’s first purpose-built joint-use library serving the University of Worcester and the county that incorporates the county archive, a local history centre, accommodation for the County Archaeologist’s team and a ‘one stop shop’ for the local authority: It’s a pioneering response to the challenge of providing a wide range of public services in an age of austerity whilst promoting social and environmental sustainability.

The Hive by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The distinctive form is a response to the project partners’ aspirations to create a beacon for learning in the city centre, a counterpoint to the Cathedral on the edge of the floodplain to the River Severn.

The Hive by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The Hive forms part of a new city block which incorporates an accessible route connecting the city centre, via the top of the medieval city wall, to the new Castle Street University campus – it is designed to entice passers by to come in and explore.

The Hive by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Sustainability was a high priority throughout: The Hive maximises daylight and natural ventilation via the seven iconic roof cones that echo the undulating ridgeline of the Malverns and the historic kilns of the Royal Worcester pottery.

The Hive by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Water from the river Severn provides peak cooling and locally sources biomass provides heating.

The Hive by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The building is designed to adapt to climate change predicted by UK-CIP to 2050. It has an A rated Energy Performance Certificate and confirmation is awaited on whether it has met or exceeded the requirement to achieve BREEAM Excellent.

The Hive by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The roof structure was designed using award winning software developed for the project which allowed the form to be constructed from solid laminated timber: This generated a saving of more than 2000 tonnes of CO2 compared to the initial design in steel and concrete.

The Hive by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The exterior is clad in a scaley carapace of copper alloy. Inside the palette of concrete and ash is animated by colours drawn from the palette used by Royal Worcester.

The Hive by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The development includes extensive new public realm with both hard landscape (using locally sourced Forrest of Dean Pennant) and planting which draws on indigenous species to create a new and rich habitat for wildlife.

The Hive by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The Hive, which was procured via a PFI process, is a testament to teamwork; from the inspiration of the Project Partners who identified the opportunity to create a generous new public facility to the creativity of the design team and the tenacity of the contractors it demonstrates that by sharing a vision and pulling in the same direction the UK construction industry can deliver extraordinary buildings.

The Hive by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Vital Statistics:
1.34 ha site,
12,371m2 gross external area
£29.7m total construction ex vat, fees, external works and FF+E
15.8 CO2/m2/yr
4.3m3/m2 at 50 Pa air tightness
40% GGBFS in cement

Client: University of Worcester and Worcestershire County Council
Architect: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Structural Engineer: Hyder Consulting (UK) Ltd/ Atelier One
M&E Engineer: Max Fordham LLP
Planning Supervisor: Arcadis AYH
Landscape Consultant: Grant Associates
Contractor: Galliford Try Construction
Cladding Consultant: Montresor Partnership
Fire Consultant: Exova Warringtonfire
Access Consultant: All Clear Designs

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  • G888

    golden age disaster (part 2)

  • JRG

    Should have been bronze….Blame the clients.

  • Mr J

    Don't mind the gold finish, but despite that it's a bit of a thug.

    Worcester itself is something of a tragedy, with so much of the city vandalised by architects and planners, not least the vile shopping centre opposite the Cathedral.

    And weirdly, the river seems to be largely ignored as a civic amenity. On a trip I made last year, the best view I could find seemed to be from a car park, and not a cafe in sight.

  • rock

    beautiful roof, + a few nice photos under the light wells. what else is there?

  • Zino

    Uh… well. In a positive note, there are houses near me, built in the 30s and 40s, that use a very similar (though in copper or tin) shingle.

  • sor perdida

    an unnecessary eyesore… this is the year when they severed the Severn River!

    seriously, this company needs an architect on board, as much as Worcester University needs to smarten up their board

  • e1027

    '… a pioneering response to the challenge of providing a wide range of public services in an age of austerity…' (maybe i got my maths wrong, but isn't £2,400/m2 quite erm, pricey?)

  • Luke

    Ugly, expensive and chaotic – a real shame

  • alex

    plans… sections….?

  • Roger Emmerson

    Come back, Hans Scharoun; all is forgiven.

  • Tom

    I went here last weekend, and whilst I think some of the elevations are poorly considered and irrational, I think that actually its good piece of architecture and gives a pretty bland part of Worcester some actually identity. Worth a visit.

  • jil

    the interiors are nice, unfortunately the building is like something designed by a part 1 student: shambolic

  • Tim

    I enjoy the external aspects of the building, but inside it is distasteful in terms of design and operation. This was not built for the benfit of Worcestershire. In no way at all does this match with notions of austerity: the concept and planning were well underway before the current economic climate. Money was spent on internal features and concepts that are utterly unnecessary. Money was misspent during the move and installation of the departments and the departments and ‘Hive’ mangers continue to misspend money, all at the expense of other council departments. If the council were really concerned about austerity they would be monitoring the spending there and preventing the frivolous; instead they encourage. The university wanted a new facility and they have tricked the County Council into paying for it. The services are not any better than before, but they are certainly different. Great expense and no improvement, how does that match notions of austerity? Don’t let the council propaganda pull the wool over your eyes.