students in library

The Olisa Library

The new Library & IT Centre was officially opened in April 2010 by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

The building has provided 100% more reader spaces, 50% more computer spaces and 60,000 volumes on open access.

Designed by Edward Cullinan, RIBA Gold Medal Winner in 2008, the new library extends the 1959 Denys Lasdun College masterplan and has created a place for study that reflects the peaceful landscape and respects and enhances the adjacent architecture. 

Key features

West Elevation

  • The stair-tower takes readers between the library floors, and provides study alcoves at half-landing levels which reveal views over the College. It culminates in the 'nest' level where readers can enjoy even wider views across Cambridge.
  • There are two flexible study spaces, with projection facilities, which can accommodate groups of up to 25. The south tower has attractive semi-circular spaces on two floors suitable for small-group study.
  • Some study spaces are allocated as permanent computer workstations and laptop use is possible throughout the library - wired and wireless network connections provide flexibility now and for the future.

Environmental impact

  • The building has been designed to exceed the latest building-regulation requirements for energy consumption and insulation levels.
  • Large north-facing windows and louvre screens maximise natural daylight while minimising solar gain.
  • The ventilation strategy and the passive environmental design both minimise the building's environmental impact - reader comfort is achieved using a fresh-air heating system with low energy consumption, to satisfy environmental requirements.

If you'd like to make a gift by cheque or standing order, please make your cheque payable to Fitzwilliam Information Services Trust Limited. (Registered Charity No 1125771.) Please download this donation form (PDF).

If you'd like more details, please contact the Development Office.