In the summer of 2016, Bolton’s first Free School, The Olive Tree Primary approached us to design and install a library into their newly built school. The vision of the school is one where a respect for excellence in learning encompasses all aspects of school life.
Our brief was to design an inviting, modern space to encourage reading and one that would become the ‘centre piece’ of the school. Our findings from the initial consultation told us they wanted something unusual, something that would provide a WOW factor for students and staff and inspire young people to grow their potential. They were looking for a flexible space, one that would not only be used as a quiet space for individual reading, but one that could also be used for group study.
The library is a very important part of the learning environment, as such the design, layout and the selection of products has to support the children and staff alike.
A vibrant tiered seating area with cosy recesses showcasing the school colours offers a fun area where pupils can relax and read, and with clever use of furniture design we were able to increase the book storage capacity by incorporating additional shelving into the seating, complimenting the fixed wall bookcases to the perimeter of the room. The use of artificial grass to this area also delivers a playful feeling of the outdoors. Continuing with this theme, a bespoke ‘tree’ reading space, with the ‘trunk’ providing extra seating was introduced to the space. Modular stools and tables in a flexible layout give the finishing touch.
The result is a bright, energetic and visually appealing space. The library now provides a space that brings students together to either read, study and/or socialise in a comfortable environment.