Iris de Freitas refurbishment details

We’ve just received a summary of the many improvements being made in the Iris de Freitas room in the Hugh Owen Library – we hope you’re as excited as we are!

There will be:
• 44 study desks, each with their own PC. Two of these will be height adjustable
• 140 desk spaces, with two of these also to be height adjustable
• 21 “relaxed” seats, many with adjacent laptop tables

• 3 bookable group study rooms, with a 30-person total capacity, each with a large screen PC, large table and whiteboard (GSR 6 seats 8, GSR 7 seats 8, and GSR 8 seats 12)
• 2 bookable study carrels, with two spaces each (four total), one PC and whiteboard in each, and height-adjustable desks
• The Hermann Ethé room will have a teaching podium, flexible seating, a noticeboard and a large whiteboard. The capacity will be 20 seats for structured learning, and first-come, first-served at other times

• Mobile glass whiteboards for use throughout the space
• 2 printers/copiers
• Vending machines, including a water refill station, a snacks machine and a hot drinks machine
• Access to gender neutral toilets

• An increased number of power points and Wi-Fi coverage
• Heating system overhauled, for warmer all-nighters!
• New windows have been installed to conserve heat and reduce glare. These windows also incorporate a built-in ventilation system, where the vents will open and close automatically as conditions dictate.
• A new ceiling has been built to help stop heat loss. The ceiling also incorporates a new LED lighting system that adjusts in the main areas to save energy. This is manually adjustable in study rooms.
• New flooring and complete redecoration throughout
• The area is now accessible, due to the installation of a new lift to this level.

Here are some images of what the space will look like after all the work has been done, and photos of the recently installed windows and flooring. Please let us know if you have any comments!

the new windows, tinted and heat reflective
The shiny new windows! Tinted and heat-reflective to reduce glare and save energy
architect sketch of the fixtures and lights
Sketch of the relaxed area
architect sketch of the fixtures and lights
Some of the design features
the relaxed seating area
The relaxed seating
architect's sketch of iris de freitas from the corner
View from the corner
architect's sketch of the room from above
View from above
architect's sketch of the room from above
A bird’s eye view
wooden design features
Design features
new flooring and windows
Brand new flooring and windows

Iris de Freitas refurbishment update August 2019

The Iris de Freitas room is coming along nicely, the new windows having recently been installed. The windows facing West (on the front of the building) are tinted and heat-reflecting, which will make the room a more comfortable space for all. It’s planned to be reopened in November, and we’re all very excited to see the changes!

new windows delivered, ready to unpack
The new windows, waiting to be unpacked
empty space where the new windows will go
Ready for the new windows to go in
From outside, the East-facing windows are to go in next
You can see some of the new windows looking through the building (we should have more photos for our next post)

Hugh Owen Library building work update on the Iris de Freitas room June 2019

Good progress is being made on the refurbishment of the Iris de Freitas room on Level E of the Hugh Owen Library over the summer. As of 26 June 2009:

    • the room is cleared ready for 3 new bookable group study rooms
    • acoustic baffles on the ceiling are being installed to reduce noise in this area
    • new energy efficient LED lighting is planned
    • builders will be taking out and replacing all windows in the coming weeks
    Ystafell Iris de Freitas room
    Photos of the refurbishment after the demolition phase – as of June 26 2019
    Ystafell Iris de Freitas room
    Photos of the refurbishment after the demolition phase – as of June 26 2019
    Ystafell Iris de Freitas room
    Photos of the refurbishment after the demolition phase – as of June 26 2019
    Ystafell Iris de Freitas room
    Photos of the refurbishment after the demolition phase – as of June 26 2019
    Ystafell Iris de Freitas room
    Photos of the refurbishment after the demolition phase – as of June 26 2019
    Ystafell Iris de Freitas room
    Photos of the refurbishment after the demolition phase – as of June 26 2019

Hugh Owen Library, Iris de Freitas room refurbishment: 3D architect’s plans

Exciting to see how plans for the refurbishment of the Iris de Freitas room on Level E of the Hugh Owen Library are progressing. The architect has provided us with a “fly-though” 3-D representation of the refurbishment so far: (by kind permission of George and Tomos architects) and come and visit the library to see a display of the plans in more detail.

Iris de Freitas refurbishment, Hugh Owen Library: area now closed from 29th May 2019

To prepare for refurbishment work on the Iris de Freitas and Hermann Ethe rooms on Level E of the Hugh Owen Library during summer/autumn 2019, this area will now be closed to users from 13:00 on Wednesday 29th May after the final exam has taken place. We expect to re-open the space on the 4th November 2019. More information is available at

Iris De Freitas refurbishment focus group 12/02/2019

A focus group has been held on the planned refurbishment of the Iris De Freitas room. Six participants joined staff and the architects who are working on the refurbishment to talk through the current plans. The focus group session helped to gather student feedback along with surveys and the post-it note board in the Iris De Freitas room that have already been collected. More information can be found at:

The aim of the focus group was to gauge the opinions of students, asking for their views about the current stage of the planning process.
The architects explained their plan by showing a walk through presentation of the current plans for refurbishment. Members of staff then asked the participants for their views, the key topics covered were
– Group Study rooms
– Quiet zones
– Vending machines
– Whiteboards
– Furniture
– Study space
Some of the current plans include 3 new group study rooms, sufficient desk space to work with laptops these desks will be equipped with plug sockets as well as USB ports. More detail of the refurbishment plans will be released Mid-March, after the tender.

If you have any feedback concerning the refurbishment please share this with us by emailing –

Iris De Freitas Refurbishment

A photo of the Iris De Freitas Room.

The Iris De Freitas room in the Hugh Owen Library will be closed for refurbishment from the 3rd of June. We expect to re-open the space on the 4th November 2019.

During the planning process we asked the users of the room to give us their suggestions for improvement. We have followed this feedback, which included:
– Study rooms
– More power sockets
– Vending machines
– Comfortable furniture
– Better lighting
– Plants

Student suggestions for the refurbishment.

We are open!

Hello everyone,

Following on from a successful launch we are delighted to see the newly refurbished Hugh Owen Library Level D in full use. Our Group Study Rooms are busy and the library floor is full of students revising hard for their exams.

The space was officially reopened by our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Elizabeth Treasure on Monday January the 8th. You can read about the launch here.

We have an album of photos of the new space on Flickr.

Please continue to give us your feedback on your new space. Post on our feedback wall on Level D of the library or email

Thank you to everyone who fed their ideas into the design of the new space. We believe you can see that your feedback and ideas impacted upon the refurbishment.

On behalf of the staff in Information Services, we wish all our students who are sitting exams the very best of luck.

Benefits of the Refurbishment

Hello again!

You may have noticed a flurry of activity out the back of the Hugh Owen building this week. We have taken delivery of the furniture and the newly refurbished space is really beginning to take shape.

As we come closer to our launch date (Wednesday the 3rd of January) a reminder of the benefits of the refurbishment:
We will be increasing user space from:

  • 21 Computer Study Spaces
  • 24 Group Study Spaces
  • 21 Flexible/relaxed seating spaces
  • To:

  • 22 Computer Study Spaces (including height adjustable desk for wheelchair users)
  • 76 Group Study Spaces
  • 26 Flexible / relaxed seating
  • This is an 88% increase in study spaces for you on Level D.

    We have re-purposed back office spaces and stores to create:

  • A vending area for you to enjoy hot and cold drinks and cold snacks. This space will also be complimented with a vending machine for supplies of stationery.
  • Brand new gender neutral facilities on Level D.
  • Brand new disabled facilities, which in addition to the work the University has undertaken on the Piazza now makes Level D far more accessible.
  • Two new Group Study Rooms for up to six users and includes high spec PCs and large screen monitors.
  • We have improved ventilation, heating and lighting replacing dated systems with more energy-efficient modern systems, which saves both money and the environment as well as creating a more pleasant working environment for both students and the staff who work on Level D.

    A reminder that we re-open Level D again on Wednesday January 3rd at 8:30am.. We hope to see you then and look forward to hearing your feedback on this space.

    Ceiling tiles and Information Services User Survey 2017

    Dear library users!

    Great news – the lighting and air conditioning is now installed and our crew is putting ceiling tiles in the ceiling frame.

    On a different note, we would like to encourage all students and staff to feedback to us all your suggestions, likes and dislikes in this year’s Information Services User Survey:

    We want to know what you think about your library, the Level D refurbishment and also the services we provide.

    We wish you a good week,
    Ania and Arfon