Co-located with Thamesmere Leisure Centre, the Claude Ramsey Library was tucked away and separated from the rest of the Leisure Centre by a wall. The separating wall was removed and replaced with a clear, low-level partition, allowing people entering the centre to actually see the library. The challenge was to create a design that enticed and invited people into the library space.
The refurbished Leisure Centre foyer was styled to create a sense of calm and cleanliness – with stark white walls, a sleek reception counter and muted greys as part of the colour palette. The idea was for the library to contrast this. The library space was to be vibrant, bold and interesting.
This vibrancy was primarily achieved through the chosen colour palette – white and bright green, accented by bursts of mauve and pink. We created interest further by steering away from straight lined shelving. We used book wedges which not only enable enhanced display opportunities but also for shelves to be placed at angles, creating a point of difference that captivates the end user and leads them through the library.
Cutting edge self-service
Another cutting-edge point of difference is the self-service stations integrated into the shelving end panels. Using touch screen technology, these pieces of ‘furniture’ become part of the shelving, taking up little space and allowing library members to check-out and return books all on their own, as well as to access other exciting information via the screen.
The children’s area shines with brightly coloured kinderboxes with integrated seating and a fun kiddies Book Lodge which doubles as a little play house and book display.
By combining new technology with insight and design, the new Claude Ramsey Library is a prime example of how a clever vision can be realised. Today the library is not just confined to the library space but extends into the Leisure Centre with waterproof books featured poolside, Sports & Leisure magazines scattered across the centre and Library news & activities promoted over the Leisure Centre plasma screens.