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 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

    Updates! Group study room and gender neutral toilets.

    Hello all!

    Level D refurbishment progress is stepping up fast. Every week we see things changing and beginning to take shape. Most recently our crew started working on:

    • Your new group study room…

    • and the gender neutral toilets at the bottom of the stairs.

    We would like to apologise once again for any noise disruption. As we mentioned in our previous blog posts, this will soon become less of an issue.

    Please check our previous posts:
    We are now undertaking work on the ceiling
    Come to celebrate Level D reopening on 3 January 2018!

    You will hear from us soon,
    Ania and Arfon

    Come to celebrate Level D reopening on 3 January 2018!

    Hello again,

    Just two weeks ago we updated you on the ceiling work undertaken on Level D (see our last post here). We are pleased to say that the noisiest work is nearly over. Spaces are really starting to take shape with fixtures and fittings now being added – take a look at some new photos below:

    • The first lamps are being installed here.

    • The refreshment area is looking good!

    We know that during the past few weeks the library was not as quiet as it usually is. Your patience and understanding will be rewarded with cake for all who come to celebrate Level D reopening on Wednesday 3 January 2018. A small formal opening by the Vice-Chancellor will take place around a week later.

    We will come back soon with new updates and photos.

    Take care!

    Ania and Arfon

    How to access the Hugh Owen Library during Level D refurbishment and photos of progress

    Welcome to new students and welcome back to returning students who may be suprised to find that the original library entrance on Level D is not open and that there is a temporary entrance to the Hugh Owen Library via Level E. This is due to building work taking place over summer and continuing through this first term to refurbish Level D. A reminder of why the Hugh Owen Library Level D is being refurbished.

    To help you all find your way into the Library until Level D reopens in January 2018 please see:
    How to find the Hugh Owen Library entrance from the direction of Rosser/Parry-Williams (TFTV Dept.) direction:
    How to find the Hugh Owen Library entrance from the Piazza:

    Refurbished Level D is really starting to take shape with old office walls having been removed and new walls up and plastered, making new areas. The photos below have been taken just before the start of term, and show the new group study spaces, new Enquiry Desk area and the space leading down towards the stairs up to Level E of the library. We are very excited to see so much progress and look forward to new furniture arriving in November and seeing the space in full use in January 2018.

    Progress Report 2


    We are currently in week 10 of building works.

    In our meeting last week with the contractors, RL Davies it was confirmed that:
    • Mechanical and Electrical isolation/strip out is 100% complete.
    • Plumbing and Mechanical 1st fix is in progress.
    • Internal partitions are all boarded on one side.
    • Entrance lobby substructure has been completed. Components have been removed to create space for our new entrance. (A reminder that the entrance will be relocated to face onto the concourse)
    • Our suspended ceiling grid is due to be installed next week.
    • Work continues on the ventilation system. This new ventilation system will result in a more pleasant working environment for staff and students on Level D.

    View from old entrance facing new Refreshment Area – Before

    View from old entrance facing new Refreshment Area – Currently

    The main thing we are working on this week with our electricians and mechanical engineers, is the position of our new furniture. Following on from regular student feedback, we are endeavoring to ensure we have as many plug and USB points as is reasonable in our new space to enable you to charge your devices.

    View from old entrance – Before
    View from old entrance. Door on left of photo leads to stairs. Current view.

    Location of new entrance – before

    New entrance being build on left side of photo. Current view

    We have also had very successful meetings with our colleagues in the Design Studio. Again, following on from student feedback, we are hoping to have some very beautiful murals and wallpaper in our new look Level D.

    (Welsh translation to follow)