Northampton Central Library

Northampton Central Library

Demco Interiors has just completed the second phase refurbishment of the Grade II listed Northampton Central Library, the largest public library in Northamptonshire. The refurbishment of the ground floor fiction library, library shop, childrens’ and cafe area and introduction of self service was completed in 2009. Now the revamp of the local studies basement and first floor non fiction areas, means that this very busy library, attracting more than 1,000 visitors a day, is bang up to date with a whole range of services and facilities.

Innovation arrives at the library with the introduction of an eight seater ÔÇÿpod’ on the first floor. Demco provides a range of pods in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. Self contained with glass walls and sliding doors the pod is lime green, to compliment the library colour scheme, and is available for library use and as a bookable venue for public hire. Semi acoustic, temperature controlled and with tables and chairs the pod space can be booked for training, meetings, group study, presentations or private consultations.

Carl Dorney, library manager said: ÔÇ£The idea for the pod is to create a hireable space for small groups which is semi private but not completely isolated from what’s going on in the rest of the library. I don’t think people want to be completely ÔÇÿlocked away’ behind four walls and a door so this pod concept is ideal. We will be adding some ÔÇÿetched’ vinyls to the glass panels and we are hoping to have it wireless enabled in the near future.ÔÇØ

Graphics are a key feature in the library with a meadow theme used to great effect in the upstairs space. Wild flower meadow images are used for end panels on the Cantilibra shelving. On the other side of the library, a small refreshment area with a coffee machine and cafe style tables and chairs is ideal for a quick pick me up and a leisurely browse through a newspaper. Here the meadow the image is repeated using large cut outs and creates a contemporary, tranquil ambience. A green and black colour theme is carried through the rest of the library soft furnishings through to spotted green and black, bar height study stools.

Carl Dorney, adds: ÔÇ£Our objective for the first floor was that it should be a very learner friendly atmosphere and we based the colour scheme on research findings showing which colours are conducive and inspiring to learning. We thought this space would be quite overcrowded but in fact it’s the opposite; the design, layout and colour scheme all come together to create a well used open, light and flexible space.ÔÇØ

Local studies has been relocated into the basement and has moved away from the traditional low key colour scheme to a vibrant black, orange and lime green palette. Northampton and its surrounding villages form an area of high historical significance and therefore a lot of important information is stored in the library. Mobile storage was used to accommodate the huge amount of files, records, archives and historical items. Demco provided the storage including designing and bespoked the end panels to feature a reproduction of an old map of the area.

Steve Beasant, Library Design Consultant, Demco Interiors played a significant part in both phases of the library design. He said ÔÇ£We had an extremely tight timescale on this second phase and we met deadlines by adopting a very collaborative approach. In spite of the time pressures the end result is a contemporary, cohesive and welcoming library space. I have read the post it notes that visitors have left in the library and am pleased to see how happy Northampton residents are with their new library space. If library visitors are happy then we’re happy too!ÔÇØ

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