The design of the History Faculty building was an entry into an architectural competition in 1963. The winning design was conceived by James Frazer Stirling and the resultant structure is almost identical to the original plans. However, after the competition, it was discovered that a part of the original site was unavailable to the University and the building was turned 90 degrees to fit the land available. The building was completed in 1968 and awarded a Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal in 1970. The building is listed by English Heritage.
"The building was the subject of a limited competition and, apart from changes in siting, is almost the same as the original project. It was necessary to provide multi-directional approaches in the History Faculty. To allow for different cross-campus circulation routes four entrances have been provided, two of which are at ground level. At the front of the building there is also an approach by ramp to the staff entrance."
James Stirling, Michael Wilford and Associates. James Stirling, Buildings and Projects. p97.
Architecturally, Stirling's Faculty building arouses great interest, and visitors come from all over the world to view it; so many in fact, that the times during which they can actually come into the library itself (the central focus of the building) has to be restricted.