University of Aberdeen New Library, Scotland
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.