With low ceilings, cinderblock walls, and no windows, the Brooke Point High School library was a dimly lit space rarely frequented by students. To create an open environment with good lighting and visibility, we eliminated CMU walls and added storefront around the library’s exterior.
The library now has some indirect natural light coming in through the corridors and unique lighting fixtures that brighten the space. Though the glass walls achieved many goals, they limited our ability to create an instructional area. This challenge led to one of the most prominent features of the design: brightly colored boxes along the storefront system, creating semi-private zones for students.
Space was another large constraint. It was a challenge to fit teaching areas, collaboration spaces, charging stations, computer stations, a maker lab, testing rooms, and the required number of books. The solution? Layering functions. The maker lab was given blinds to double as a testing room, the teaching areas are also used for collaboration, and the computer lab functions as a classroom.
A warm wood ceiling, bright colors, and the integration of technology updated this library. After construction was completed, the number of students visiting the library before school rose from about 10 to around 150 daily.