Albert Sloman Library

Application for extension of library and advice rebutting spot listing request, paving the way for three RIBA awards in 2016.


Beacon were appointed to help secure permission for an extension to the 1960s Albert Sloman Library, part of the Architect Co-Partnership designed University of Essex campus. A Heritage Statement was required to support the application because the library is adjacent to a Grade II registered park and garden. The project was also sensitive in heritage terms because it was considered that the Library had architectural and historic merit. This became clear once the application was submitted and a request to spot list the building was received by English Heritage.

Given the level of interest in the proposals at pre-application stage, our Heritage Statement had already considered the significance of the Library and what impact the proposed extension and construction of a new adjoining Student Centre would have. This information was issued to English Heritage during its consideration of the library for listing.

We provided further advice during the spot listing assessment period and met with the English Heritage Designation Officer.


Spot listing request successfully rebutted. Planning permission granted September 2012.

The extension to the Albert Sloman Library was awarded the 2016 RIBA East Building of the Year (sponsored by Marley Eternit) by a jury unanimous in their verdict that the project was a triumph. The integration of the building into the existing campus, coherence of design, and high level of use were cited as evidence of the building's popularity and success. The library was described as a sensitive and skilled extension to the existing building, which compliments the earlier architecture without copying it. The use of light, in particular, was praised.

The project also won the 2016 RIBA National Award and the 2016 RIBA East Award.

ClientUniversity of Essex
AppointedApril 2011
Services providedAdvice  
BP teamJenni Mason  
ArchitectPatel Taylor architects
* Images courtesy of ©Patel Taylor
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