Designing from the ground up
We found it hugely valuable to be in at the early stages of discussion so we could match the interior design to the aspirations of both the council and the dramatic building design. We were also able to influence some key aspects - for example ensuring a step-free route for buggies into the first floor library from the park.
Ground floor shared area
The room sets with rugs and sofas create little oases to relax in, the Books to Go displays tempt quick visitors and the two First Point pods offer everything from bus passes to theatre tickets.
In normal hours the library/First Point space and the Costa space merge into one another. Costa staff are encouraging customers to take coffees up to the other floors in the library too.
A mix of print and digital resources - fantastic book displays, computers and tablets, state of the art digi-tables, lots of power to plug in your own devices. Flexible event spaces - sofas for reading groups, wall projections for movies and presentations, space for workshops and a wonderful storytime space. Areas for different kinds of use - chatting, reflecting, reading. Areas for different audiences - under 5s, 5-11s, teenagers, adults, seniors, families , no hard boundaries, each area flows into the next.
First Point floor
This may be the most stylish and friendly council customer service ever! Gone are the enclosed booths, the rows of check-in desks, the sense of being corralled and controlled. Instead there is a great airy space with views in all directions. It's easy to see where to go with the clear colour coding.
Instead of enclosing people in, angles in the space are cleverly used to give more privacy. Lovely sofas are positioned to make it pleasant while you wait your turn. Slatted screens give a more open feel to the outside of the advice pods and matching acoustic screens give more privacy between adjacent desks. You can wander through the space with a coffee while you wait, glance up at the screens to see when your turn approaches or listen out for the audio announcements which call you forward.