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The University of Edinburgh Library is one of my favourite buildings in Edinburgh - not so much the building itself but the way it sits in context in George Square. The way it's designed is very clever particularly in the way the horizontal banding of the upper levels help to hide the true scale of the building. As a student at the University I always thought the building was very functional. It perhaps isn't beautiful to all eyes, but it works extremely well. I particularly like the study spaces laid out around the perimeter of each floor - each desk being afforded a fantastic view of The Meadows. As I say, it's the way that the building sits in it's context that I really like. The point where you turn on to George Square from The Meadows is actually one of my favourite parts in Edinburgh. To your right you have the strong horizontal lines of Spence's Library, the Adam Ferguson building, and the steps of the podium on which they sit. These lines pull your eyes forward to David Hume Tower, the vertical lines of which then draw your eye to the sky. It's one of the most exciting architectural spaces in Edinburgh - in my opinion anyway! To your left, the hard lines are complemented by the trees in the gardens. As a public space it works so well - certainly much better than the 'old' sides of George Square where pedestrians are hemmed in on narrow pavements between iron railings and parked cars. I tried to capture this in a photograph, but don't think it really does this space justice.

Ian MacQuarrie

Edinburgh uni memory

 

Working at the Nuffield Theatre, an independent producing theatre in Southampton, I used to talk about Sir Basil Spence to visiting pupils on backstage tours. As the theatre is on a Southampton Uni campus, I would also give tours for potential students their parents, and for new students during Fresher's Week each year. Spence designed the Nuffield, working with Sir Richard Southern for the interior. Originally part of Southampton Uni, the Nuffield opened in 1964, becoming independent in 1982.

Ruth Kerr