UCL has been at the forefront of architectural education in Britain since the country's first chair of Architecture was established here in 1841. In 1914, a School of Planning was created and this was followed in the 1960's by the School of Construction Management and in 1971 by the Development Planning Unit. Collectively these make up the Faculty of Built Environment, or Bartlett School (named after its original benefactor, the nineteenth-century engineer and contractor Sir Herbert Bartlett). The School is the largest interdisciplinary faculty in its field in the UK.
The Bartlett's teaching and research is supported by the Environmental Studies Library, which can be found on the fifth floor of Wates House on Gordon Street. Here are housed the Architecture and Town Planning collections, which together amount to some 35,000 monographs and over 450 current journal subscriptions. The interdisciplinary nature of studies in the Faculty means that these two distinct but complementary collections are wide-ranging and cover all aspects of their respective fields, including subjects as diverse as architectural history, environmental design, engineering, transport planning and housing studies. Of particular note is a strong collection of material relating to London and the South-east, including an extensive set of London Borough development plans, Greater London Authority and other government publications.
Other facilities in the Library include digital photocopiers and a small but expanding collection of videos, along with viewing facilities. Access to bibliographic databases on both CD-ROM and the Web is provided by two dedicated machines. Students' past work is also represented by a heavily-used and important collection of M.Sc. and Town Planning M.Phil. dissertations.
An ongoing series of refurbishment works began in the Library over Christmas, with the aim of creating a more pleasant and work-friendly environment for both Library staff and readers. This is likely to continue during the forthcoming Summer and Christmas vacations, by which time a new Issue Desk area should be in place to complement the redesigned lighting, new furniture and colour scheme.
Further information: Suzanne Page