New Library in Oldest Classroom

OA were appointed by the school to design and create a new Library space in the oldest building in the school.

New Room was the original classroom for the school and is approximately 150 years old. The brief was to make the room and building sustainable for the future use of the pupils and to bring it back into the heart of the school operation.

Key was achieving the correct level of book display area and usable learning space. Alongside this was a desire to create a school museum, archive store and flexible teaching spaces. This was achieved, as well as creating a soft reading/relaxing area, by introducing a light and modern mezzanine within the existing hall. The mezzanine is supported on a completely independent structure that does not load onto the existing building. A new entrance terrace was created to allow outside reading and learning areas and a direct connection to the school campus.

New heating and lighting was introduced as well as improved thermal performance. Two adjacent courtyards were infilled to create reading rooms and teaching spaces with both being naturally top lit.

  • Improved thermal performance of the building and spaces
  • Sympathetic but modern intervention to a historic building
  • Cleaned and lightened timberwork to improve setting
  • Brings Library back to heart of school
  • New communication route through the school
  • Re-use of redundant internal courtyards

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Project Architect

Luca Schiavone

Partner in charge

Brian Donnelly

New Room Library, Oxford

Summer Fields School

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