Arts and Design

Inspired Spaces means Inspired Kids

BVN wins two Learning Environment Awards for kids libraries, at State Library NSW and International Grammar School, Sydney.

Once upon a time, libraries were silent spaces dedicated to scholarly pursuit, quiet revery and hushed reading. Today they’ve have undergone a revolution. Marrickville and Woollahra Libraries paved the way with their lush green spaces, interactive features, and spatial designs that encourage “coming together”. Hot on the heels of these success stories, BVN Architecture has again been recognised for its work – this time for innovative education libraries. The new library spaces created for the State Library NSW, and International Grammar School, have been named winners in the 2021 Learning Environment Awards Australasia.

International Grammar School, Sydney

The new “Bibliotheque” created for Sydney’s International Grammar School is a place of genuine retreat amidst the bustling activity of their city location.

Students enter the library by crossing what appears to be a cool forest floor. It’s a magical space featuring a glass pond complete with lily pads leading through a bright tunnel to a conservatory for group study. A lookout at the entrance, sequestered within greenery, overlooks the school’s main stairway. A pop-out window overlooks the sports hall in one direction, and another pop-out peers into an adjacent amphitheatre.

Here, up to 80 students can gather on tiered seating, under a striking glowing ceiling, made of stretched fabric over a field of LED lights. Continuous planting on a trellis gives the feeling of an being outside – an important feature for an urban campus with limited outdoor space. Beyond the amphitheatre, the library continues into larger, more flexible open space, with reading room, study nooks and benches along the peripheries, and a beautiful outdoor learning terrace.

“We wanted to create a place that was a sanctuary for the students – a physical change the environment, offering them a place to a pause, recharge and be creative,” said architect Phillip Rossington.

Source: BVN Architecture

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