Library Planning and Design Consultant to PDT architects.
Design Principles and Strategies
- Strategically, the redeveloped library has been planned as a series of specific spaces, each with their own inherent qualities and characteristics. These spaces are not always enclosed but, as a series of specific ‘rooms’ they are defined through differing volumes, materials and quality of light. Like a miniature of a city, these spaces are linked by ‘streets’ allowing clear circulation routes and offering easy navigation, information and communication.
- By creating a series of ‘rooms’ differing activities can happen simultaneously. The ‘street’ provides access to (and separation between) the Information Hall, the Café, the Family Area, the Kids Room and the Lounge. The collection stacks line the street and form the edges of the main room, the Lounge. In this way the book stacks become the walls.
- The need for adaptability and flexibility is very important in contemporary library design. By creating a range of spaces within the library and by using modular, moveable furniture, the use of space can vary over time. The Lounge area, for example, could be used for informal performance, story-telling, casual reading, a book launch, or even a function; almost in the same day.
- The choice of materials and colours is deliberately muted and subdued. There is a large amount of visual information required in a library and a great deal of colour and texture in the collection itself. Rather than the two competing the intent has been to create a subtle background to allow the collections and activities to be prominent. In addition, the softer colours and textures work with the lighting systems to enhance the different atmosphere of each space.
- The opening hours of the library are constant, but on occasions the entry lounge can be used ‘out of hours’ for events, displays or meetings. Similarly, the meeting rooms and learning lounge have separate access increasing and extending the learning opportunities for the people of Thuringowa.
- The café has been located on the edge of the building. In this way it can serve both internal library space and the covered external space adjacent to the Council buildings. Importantly, It can therefore operate with independent opening times and cater for external and ‘out of hours’ events and activities.