Headington school is looking to relocate and re-think it's library and reading room in line with advancements in technology and communication.
The new site for the library consists of what was originally constructed as a gymnasium with an extension into a quad.
The libary and study areas are within the former gym, and the reading room is within the quad.
Within the libary, an opportunity for a suspended mezzanine not only creates additional private study areas, but also makes the lower level of the large volume much more intimate and human scaled. The central columns take the bulk of the weight of the structure, and tension cables connected to the existing trusses act as stabilisers.
The reading room literally takes the library into the quad and brings the quad into the library. This is an excercise in simplicity to the extreme. Maximum transparency ensures that the quad is still perceived as a whole. Minimum structure creates a pavilion like 'building' although more of a glazed enclosure rather than a building in the traditional sense.
The elegance of the simple design is only possible with carefully thought out heating, cooling and ventilation solutions. Below the building, a small basement houses a heat recovery ventilation system that draws fresh air in from an external bollard. The room air is extracted through a high level grill before passing through the heat recovery unit. In summer the heat recovery unit is bypassed and operable vents above the links to the main building provide cross ventilation. Finally, solar control blinds minimise heat gain when required.
Client: Headington school
Current phase: Construction