Kent History and Library Centre

Kent History and Library Centre

Demco Interiors worked with Kent County Council on the design and installation of the interior of the eagerly awaited new build flagship Kent History and Library Centre. The Centre has now opened its doors to the public to much acclaim for its innovative design and contemporary interior.

 

Kent has a wealth of county history documents, photographs, maps and records and to make sure they survive for future generations they need to be kept in carefully controlled conditions. The new history and library centre has been purpose built to protect and display more archives than has ever been available to the public.

 

The library will stock over 40,000 books and includes a children’s library, a history centre circular hub and a small pop up retail shop.

 

Through a series of co-creation workshops with the library team, Demco produced conceptual 3D visualizations of products that would add a different perspective to the open plan interior.

 

James Pearson, KCC Project Manager, Libraries, Registration & Archives said: “It was a significantchallenge to get the amount of shelving needed for allthe stock,allowspace for furniture and circulation butthe finished result more than exceeds our expectations. The excellent design really complements the building and throughout the project Demco had a good eye for detail. In the Kent History and Library Centre we have a building we can all be proud of.”

 

Special features include an innovative seating hub where visitors can sit and view the historical graphic timeline and in the children’s area a mini amphitheatre with a scribble wall. The children’s library will host regular story time and baby bounce and rhyme sessions.

 

Book and multi media stock is housed on Demco’s white Promo shelving (with guiding in the Council red corporate colour) both in the children’s and adult section. The stark white of the shelving creates a striking contrast against the dark wood stained floor and gleaming architectural, aluminium open ducting and end to end building glazing. The shelving has been designed for maximum stock display with modern pigeon hole features to promote, highlight and draw attention to individual items.

 

In such a large open plan space it was important to build in flexibility so that the large open space could be reconfigured as and when necessary. Smaller bays on castors means the shelving can easily be moved around and reconfigured and the bespoke hubs in the children’s and history areas give visitors some privacy when they need it.

 

Broadening the scope of the library extends to creating a small retail area within the space with two compact merchandising display units designed and manufactured by Demco. Shop products ranges from The Gruffalo branded items to Kent Products, from greetings stamps and cards to eco friendly bags, many of which are also available online at http://www.kentlibraryshop.co.uk/

 

Vivien Low, Project Designer, Demco Interiors said: ÔÇ£The library team were very forward thinking in their collaborative approach to developing this space. It was an inside-outside approach which respected our expertise in designing library spaces combined with their ideas and vision of how they wanted the space to evolve. I am sure we are all in agreement that the result is quite outstanding.ÔÇØ

 

The new library and archives facilities will replace and update the existing services currently offered at the Centre for Kentish Studies, County Central and St Faiths’ libraries.

 

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