Although the University of Aberdeen was established in 1495, its new library is firmly rooted in the 21st century. The library’s minimalist exterior opens to reveal a spiraling atrium; a dynamic vortex that connects the building’s eight stories. The stunning modern design is the work of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects; it was commissioned to replace the former library in 1965. The space-age facility accommodates 14,000 students with 1,200 reading spaces, archives, historical collections and a room for rare books. The building was also designed to meet the highest sustainable standards and has been certified BREEAM Excellent.