Located in the north-east of Scotland, The University of Aberdeen was established in 1495 and its library holds over a million books including significant special collections. The 15,500 m² spectacular new Sir Duncan Rice Library designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen officially opened in 2012 and provides an advanced 21st century learning and research environment employing the latest technology. At the heart of the library a spiralling skewed atrium connecting all eight storeys rises up from a double-height entrance area; the dramatic interior contrasts with the clean-cut exterior profile. The library is designed with sustainability in mind and has been certified BREEAM Excellent. Consisting of an irregular pattern of insulated panels and high-performance glazing, the façade not only allows plenty of daylight to penetrate into the building but also offers great views over the city of Aberdeen. The goal set out in the competition brief was to create a magnificent academic library for science and research which would also serve as a meeting place and a cultural centre for the students and staff of the University and also for the local community.