The Sir Duncan Rice Library is the main academic library for the University of Aberdeen. It was designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and completed in 2011. It is named after Duncan Rice, a previous Principal of the university. The cube-shaped building can be seen prominently from the entire campus and much of the city. It is a seven-storey tower, clad in zebra-like jagged stripes of white and clear glass. The building has a floorspace of 15,500 square metres. It houses several of the University's historic collections, including more than a quarter of a million ancient and priceless books and manuscripts that have been collected over five centuries since the University's foundation. There is also public exhibition space. The library replaced the smaller Queen Mother Library as the university's main library.
The Queen Mother Library had been the university's main library since 1965. The university conducted a restricted international design competition for the new library in 2005. The Danish architectural firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen architects were successful. The project was the largest capital fundraising project ever undertaken by the university. Plans were unveiled to the public in 2007.
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