Public design inspiration for private spaces: the library

Public design inspiration for private spaces: the library

When we were travelling recently we came a cross an amazing library which was a perfect example of my Lego Furniture Theory, and I wanted to share it because there are some great ideas here that can be used in small homes.

This was only a small suburban library, so the designers had to make the best use of the space available. They did this by ensuring that all the furniture was lightweight, moveable and flexbile. The bookshelves were on castors, and could be customised to store large or small books, or display books with their covers facing out. There were footstools and tables that could be rearranged to accommodate large or small groups of people. The children’s section had tubs of toys on castors too, so that children could pack-up by themselves.

This design allowed the staff to easily change the layout of the library to accommodate a change in their collection, or changing patterns of use.

Here is a little nook that has been created for relaxed reading or quiet conversation. I love nooks, and would love to create a reading nook in my home.

Reading nook in public library

I especially liked how the designers had incorporated many places to display books attractively, so it wasn’t just a building to store books, but to encourage and celebrate reading. I like to display books in my own home: click here to see some examples.

Video games and book display nooks

Around the corner is a spot where older children can play video games, but it’s tucked away and doesn’t interfere with other people’s enjoyment of the library.

There was even an area with cafe-style tables and chairs and a cappuccino machine. Wow! Libraries have changed since I was a young person.


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