The creation of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at the University of British Columbia involved the renovation of the original 1925 Library (the Heritage Core), the demolition of all subsequent additions, and 200,000 square feet of new construction. The project was designed in association with Los Angeles architectural firm HHPA. The result is a 21st-century learning centre for the university and the wider provincial community.
In addition to the traditional library collection, storage, and seating, the building includes a range of academic units, classrooms and lecture theatres, collaborative project rooms, learning and technology resources, and a community concourse. It also features an innovative automatic storage and retrieval system, with a capacity of 1.4 million volumes. There is a climate-controlled vault for rare books and archives, four reading rooms, gallery space and a flexible interior seating for over 1,500 study seats, classrooms, theatre and a Cafe. The building design captures light and offers a tranquil and relaxing space to study.