New Library Opens in Milton Keynes
Demco Interiors main contractor for the design and furnishings of new public library in Milton Keynes
Kingston Library, Milton Keynes has relocated and officially opened in a brand new purpose built building in the centre of the thriving Kingston Centre shopping and leisure area.
The new library replaces the existing small temporary library (which will now be used for other community use) and is designed to meet the demands of an ever expanding population of the East of Milton Keynes.
The new library has been purpose built to meet the needs of all sections of the community and the interior designs and layouts were developed by Demco Interiors, with the project team, to accommodate the needs of disabled people, family groups and children.
Helen Bowlt, Library Customer Service Manager, said: ÔÇ£The provision of a new building has enabled us to create a bespoke facility which meets the requirements of the local communities as detailed in the Libraries Audience Development Plan. It is a significant improvement on the existing facility in terms of size and quality of the space provided with over seven times the floor area of the old library. Milton Keynes has always courted controversy and although we have been quite radical in some of our ideas for the new space we have created a sustainable, cost neutral, enhanced library destination. We carried out a lot of pre-project consultation and judging by the crowds outside the door on the open day we are confident that this is going to be a very popular destination for this very forward thinking town.ÔÇØ
Walking through the entrance the interior immediately gives the ÔÇÿwow’ feeling with a strong, modern retail feel with easy seating and curved shelves with books on display. The shelving bays have a mix of display options with some colour blocked face on display shelves introducing the colour theme that carries on throughout the space. Looking up the wave acoustic ceiling with designer lighting gives the space status and an architectural, design-led feel.
The library design has a strong family and teen focus with stylish furnishings, retail look shelving, mixes of seating and study areas. The children’s area has tiered amphitheatre style seating creating a performance area for storytelling time and a scribble wall for post its, scribbles and artwork.
The layout of the stylish curved shelving bays creates subtle zones with something new to discover in each area, making the space seem larger than it actually is. The intuitive design means that there is no need for over-signposting and the novel illuminated shelving bay guides are simple black and white text in an easy to read font, lit up with a clever built in LCD lighting feature.
The colour palette throughout is based on the Milton Keynes Council Libraries brand colours with vibrant pinks, greens and blues creating a modern colour popping interior. The furnishings are upholstered in hard wearing, stain resistant textiles, with an eclectic mix of colours and designs for strong impact. The bold striped carpet in the brand colours adds a striking effect from the front to the back of the library.
The library has a variety of meeting spaces for community groups and business to hire, including a meeting pod. This has been produced to a very high spec with an acoustic ceiling, dimmable lighting, air conditioning, large presentation screen, modern grey felt effect seating and a Midnight Ash conference table. An especially commissioned vinyl graphic runs around the perimeter glass – an explosion of letters graphic designed by local, award winning glass artist Claudia Phipps. The pod will be available for meeting hire so an added revenue earner for the library.
Screens are used throughout as digital displays to promote events, calendars or for use/hire by visitors. The aim is to create a clutter free environment which doesn’t shoe-horn the space into any particular activity. The furnishings are flexible with shelving on castors and a storage room holds stackable tables and chairs which can easily be moved into the front entrance area if it’s wanted to be used by a large group/meeting.
Self service stations means that the counter size is reduced and library staff will be able to help visitors using tablets loaded with a LMS app.
Workstations and study spaces come in different heights and configurations with a very popular bespoke bar height presentation or meeting area which has its own open and shut kitchen area.
Explore Learning are renting the top mezzanine floor and an additional space is available for a new tenant to hire. The library has been designed as a multi functional space to attract a wide range of audiences. From local businesses, to community groups to mums and toddlers – this is truly a library that has been designed with something for everyone.
In just one small part of the fastest growing towns in Europe, the Kingston Library is set to be one big part of the local lifestyle.
Project: Milton Keynes Library Service, Milton Keynes Council (www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/libraries)
Interior design and furnishings: Demco Interiors (www.demcointeriors.co.uk)
Architect: Stenton Obhi Architects (www.so-architects.co.uk)
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28 January 2015