Greenhill library spacious newly designed reading area

The Brief

As part of the London Borough of Harrow undertaking for a major regeneration of residential and commercial facilities within Harrow, the Gayton Library in St Johns Road was being relocated to Perceval Square, College Road in Harrow Town Centre.

Their brief was for the library to become a multi-purpose community, cultural and learning facility.

The new services and infrastructure were to provide Greenhill residents, workers and visitors in the area, with a destination suitable for research, work and leisure. Expecting a significant increase in visitor numbers as well as the increase in services, the library brief expected modern, innovative, and flexible spaces to meet the existing and future needs of all users.

The library was relocating to the ground floor of a residential apartment block, and so all parties needed to work in unison to minimise disruption to the residents of 51 College Road, plus local businesses, residents, pedestrians, and traffic.

The unusual shape of the building, in some areas a cavernous double height space with high level windows required careful design considerations to create a welcoming, uncluttered, and easy to understand layout.

Top view showing the fiction section and study table in Greenhill library

The Solution

Working to the Architects overall design for this project, FGLL gave consideration to the unusual shapes within the building and assisted in providing a distinctive character for each area, with styles, colour and textures.

The colour palette provided, complemented the exposed services and concrete columns, bringing vibrant colours in toned down hues to soften the stark industrial- open-plan feel. The Landscape shelving system was specified with coloured end panels used to identify zones. Bespoke-print end panels were also manufactured to provide visual interest, depicting furniture and services within the community centre.

Various soft furnishing elements were provided to encourage users to feel comfortable and welcomed in all areas of the library.

Greenhill library wooden hub area

FGLL worked with the Architects to create a playful, joyous area where the excitement of reading can occur in a fun environment, with the treatment of primary colours, low level shelving and pockets of individual space. This was achieved with Landscape on sturdy break castors, which are robust against the knocks from young readers.

The Architects developed a concept of a reading den inspired by rays of sunlight filtering through a forest, which FGLL technically designed to work in the space, developing the angles and joints for a structurally sound construction whilst keeping the intended magical, wistful style.

Spacious boxed seating area of Greenhill Young Adults library


The young adult’s zone was given a studious, yet fun treatment with the Tiered seating system, providing a modern and adaptable seating area, both comfortable and practical. Ideally suited to the changing layouts required within this user area.



Read more about how FG Library and Learning worked on Greenhill Library