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Pre-construction deal signed for British Library archive

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Wates Construction has been appointed as pre-construction stage partner for the redevelopment of the British Library site at Boston Spa, West Yorkshire.

The 45-week PCSC (pre-construction services consultant) role will see Wates working alongside the client’s design team up to RIBA Stage 4 with services engineer, Buro Happold and London-based architectural practice, Carmody Groarke.

The scheme involves the construction of a new 28m-high, 5,274m2 fully automated net-zero carbon archive building, which will feature a public viewing gallery and 220km of extra shelf space. The project also includes an extensive renovation of the nearby 1970s Brutalist-style Urquhart Building for the library’s 550 on-site staff, including a new reading room, restaurant and café for visitors.

Sustainability will be an integral feature of this ambitious programme, including the creation of new and improved green spaces to support biodiversity and enhance the natural environment surrounding the site.

The British Library aims to open its new spaces at Boston Spa by 2026.

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