Demco Interiors was the main contractor for the design and furnishings.
Helen Bowlt, Library Customer Service Manager, said: “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."
A modern 'retail' environment
The entrance immediately gives the feeling of a modern retail environment, with easy seating and curved shelves. The shelving bays have a mix of display options, with some colour-blocked face-on display shelves introducing the colour themes that carry on throughout the space. Above, 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 seating, creating a performance area for storytelling time, and a scribble wall for post-its, scribbles and artwork.
The layout of the curved shelving bays creates subtle zones with no need for over-signposting. The illuminated shelving bay guides are in simple black and white text with a clever built-in LCD lighting feature.
The colour palette throughout is based on the Milton Keynes Council Libraries brand colours of vibrant pinks, greens and blues.
Making the most of space
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. A specially 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 as an added revenue earner for the library.
Screens are used throughout as digital displays to promote events. The furnishings are flexible, with shelving on castors. Self-service stations have allowed the counter size to be reduced. Library staff will be helping visitors using tablets loaded with an LMS app.