McClay Library Queen’s University Belfast building architecture design interior view
Ivan Ewart , The McClay Library. Queen’s University Belfast
Library Details
Basic Information
University library
Year of opening
Total Cost
52,070,000 EUR
University / Institution
Queen’s University Belfast
10 College Park Ave
BT7 1LP Belfast
United Kingdom
Project Story
Main Motications and Objectives

To provide a single Information Services building bringing together all of the services provided to users in the areas of Library, Computing, Media Services and Language Centre. To provide a world class, technology-rich, building in place of the increasingly inadequate space provided in the former Main and Science Libraries.


Central location on the main University campus.

”Bent bar” shape incorporating brick and sandstone exterior finishes with large areas of glass. Disabled access and energy efficient, sustainable design were essential requirements.

  • Latimer, K. The McClay Library at Queen’s University Belfast: evaluation five years on. IN Post-occupancy evaluation of library buildings; ed by K Latimer and D Sommer. Berlin, De Gruyter Saur, 2015, pp. 161-174

  • Latimer, K. Sustainability in all phases of the building’s life-cycle: a case study of the McClay Library, Queen’s University Belfast. IN The Green Library: designing and managing environmentally sustainable libraries; ed. by P Hauke et al. Berlin, De Gruyter Saur, 2013, pp. 197-212.

  • Tennyson, Michael. ‘Read all about it’. Perspective, 18(5), September/October 2009 pp 54-61

  • Rainwater harvesting at the seat of learning. Specify 23 December 2009 p 3

New Project Data
New building
Yes / 2003

Total Floor Area
20,574 m2
Floor Area Open to Public
Shelving Capacity Open Stacks
38,000 linear meters
Shelving Capacity Closed Stacks
8,000 linear meters
Number of Staff
118 FTE
Total Seating Capacity
Group Study Rooms
Individual Study Rooms

Late, Weekend
Additional Features
Special Rooms
Special Features
Additional Comments