When Solihull Council went to tender with this project, they had a very specific vision that they wanted brought to life. They knew that in order for the new library location at the Parkgate Shopping Centre to be a success, the end product needed to ‘wow’ the community and create such a sense of wonder that it coaxed them out of their old habits and into the new library space.
The idea was to recreate a piece of Shirley inside the library, from which the interior design concept ‘Suburban Shirley’ was born. Vinyl roadways, green grassy carpet interfaces, cloud-shaped lighting rafts and many other special touches were used to create this suburban feel.
Bespoke shelving and display units
The Design Concept was brought on board to handle the bespoke elements of the project – specifically the shelving and other display units. The shelving had to have a timeless, traditional feel, complete with ornate cornicing and be finished off in a chalky cream colour.
As no standard library shelving range meets these specifications, we were able to manufacture the shelving from scratch to meet our client’s very unique requirements.
A highlight of the shelving design is the ‘streetscape’ cut-out that sits above and runs the entire length of the built-in wall shelving. Integrated into this expanse of shelving is a children’s study area, which cleverly and effortlessly breaks the shelving up, creating a new focal point and interest zone.
The Design Concept also built the circular seating with integrated book storage that wraps around the ‘magical apple tree’. Rather than an intimidating staff counter, the Information Pod creates an informal yet interactive meet and greet area and guides people to the various library zones using wayfinding designed to look like street signs. The Info Pod also has an in-built ticketing machine which is used by the Council’s Walk-in Service that is co-located with the library.