Welcome to building.co.uk. This site uses cookies. Read our policy.

Balancing the books: how the Egyptian and British libraries compare
Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt British Library, London
Total floor area
85 400 m2
1 08 000 m2
Total capacity on site
4 million volumes (rising to 8 million by replacing shelving)
12.5 million volumes
Reader desks
2500 in one reading room
1206 in eleven reading rooms
Number of floors
11 floors, 4 underground
14 floors, 5 underground
Building completion
spring 2001 (projected)
Development period
12 years (projected)
21 years
Completion overrun
1 year
4 years
Construction cost
$212m projected (£149m)
Cost overrun
$50m projected (£35m)
Colin St John Wilson & Partners
Rodio/Trevi/Arab Contractors, Balfour Beatty/Arab Contractors
Laing Management, Sir Robert McAlpine/Haden Young