The library is at the heart of the distinctive Grade II listed 1930’s Art Deco venue and provides visitors with access to the largest collection of French material in the UK.
The recently completed design and restoration work by Bisset Adams creates a sensitive yet powerful juxtapose between the new and the old. The concept was to create an innovative ‘pioneering’ library with a modern reading room twist, whilst reinforcing the powerful history and culture synonymous with the Institute.
The original features such as the beautiful angular pale pink glazing, which was lost behind large bookshelves for 65 years, have now been brought back life. As well as interior design services, Bisset Adams remit included the upgrading of building services, new LED lighting, WIFI, AV and library reception pods, with the damaged parquet floor, bookshelves and hidden windows being carefully restored to their original glory.
New lounge furniture with complementary colour hues and easy curves were procured from a French manufacturer to add a contemporary feel to the interior and period lighting restored.
Bisset Adams have also completed the design for an additional 2 phases, which include the main adult library and the stand-alone children’s library. The first phase of the scheme was completed in a 5 month period and is now open to the public.