The refurbishment of the Clarkson Library is set to provide Bradford Grammar School with a brand new 21st century, state-of-the-art library, offering students and staff a vital resource within the school. The project aims to create a library that can become the heart of the school with an ethos of ‘tradition and innovation’ and will form a fundamental part of the learning experience.
The building has been designed to reflect the differences in individual learning styles, promoting a wide range of teaching strategies such as project work, individual study, group research, reading, and themed browsing.
Externally the building has been completely re-clad with glazing to allow daylight and a better connection with the rest of the school.
The central core to the library is a tall circular drum, enclosing the junior library on the ground floor and acts as a link between spaces on the first floor, allowing activities to flow in and around it. A large circular roof light serves to emphasise the core, which floods the centre of the library with natural daylight and directly below is a helpdesk with informal seats for ‘quick grab’ items such as journals and weekly prints.
All the book storage has been developed in conjunction with the library team to create a bespoke solution for the building, integrating seating, desk spaces and display within the storage. The first-floor houses non-fiction books, while fiction is located on the ground floor, with each area having enough space for students to sit and study.
A series of areas for class briefing include the sixth form study space and the stepped seating area. These also have the flexibility to be used by groups and individuals when classes aren’t using them. The lighting within the library is an LED solution, which was manufactured by High Technology Lighting using bespoke fittings within the group areas and the double height space.
The junior library is a bright and fun space with age specific furniture, adjustable LED lighting and additional storage space to display books and work by the students. As well as the formal study spaces in which students can do individual study, there is also informal seating in the form of sofas, and pods for group study and discussion.
In addition to these main library spaces the library will be fitted with a video conferencing and an archive room. The archive room will hold material from the schools existing archive. Objects that have been recovered will be displayed around the library, to express the school’s rich heritage.