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2020 The Hive's history


The Hive is no ordinary library

From the outset, it was designed for shared community, and to be a spectacular new addition to Worcester’s rich architectural heritage. Much like a beehive, our building was designed to be full of purposeful activity. And if you look closely, you’ll see the gold cladding looks like honeycomb.



The Hive embodies inclusivity and learning for life

As you enter the building, you will find university students working on assignments, jobseekers attending job club and writing applications, independent researchers of all ages, and young families enjoying Bounce and Rhyme. There are also plenty of comfortable and quiet places to sit and read, and a cafe. The Hive has a busy events programme, with regular public lectures, exhibitions and performances.



The Hive is a partnership between the University of Worcester and Worcestershire County Council

Europe’s first integrated public and university library is also home to Worcestershire’s Archives and Archaeology Service. Our children’s library is one of the best in the country, bringing teaching to life and offering exceptional work experience opportunities.



The Hive was always an ambitious project

Back in 2004, both partners were looking at how to modernise their library services. The University was actively developing its new city campus and the city had outgrown its central library. In 2010, building work started on a derelict site in Worcester. The doors opened to the public for the first time on 2 July 2012, and was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen on 11 July.



The Hive was designed using sustainability principles

Sustainability is a core principal of The Hive's design. The building’s climate is managed using natural light and ventilation. Our large windows don’t just provide impressive views; they open and close automatically depending on temperature, rain and CO2 levels. Pipework embedded in the ceilings cleverly heat and cool the building. We also have a biomass generator and our toilets are flushed with rainwater. The whole building can be recycled at the end of its life.