The King's School Library

An existing Victorian structure with a tranquil outlook west over the River Severn forms the basis for this new school library, on two levels linked by a book-lined lightwell.

The plan is organised around a new Long Gallery running north-south to make a route through the centre of the school, with information, display and exhibition space. The upper reading room is reached across a new lightwell via a ramped glass bridge with lightbox balustrades.

All furniture, shelving and panelling is specially designed by Associated Architects in ice birch plywood with lightbox illumination and full IT integration. The same material has been used by the leading lettering artist, Gary Breeze, for the Greek inscription over the Long Gallery.
The free form librarian’s desk forms a focal point with excellent visual surveillance.

Strong emphasis is placed on environmental responsibility and minimising CO2 emissions. A sophisticated ventilation system, including motorised circular rooflights, obviates the need for air conditioning despite the high computer usage.

The library immediately established a new heart to the school, recording 17,000 visits during its first month of operation. The RIBA Awards Jury acclaimed “a highly imaginative and productive use of space skillfully and carefully carried through to the final detail”.

The project received an RIBA Award in 2008.

Client: The Kings School, Worcester
Project Value: £1.2 million
Completion: 2007
RIBA Architecture Award 2007
City of Worcester Award 2006
Wood Awards 2007
Wood Innovation Award 2007

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