Ravensbourne College Learning Resource Centre

Greenwich, London. 2013

  • Project Details
  • Completion: 2013
  • Cost: £5 Million
  • Clients: Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication

With a keen focus on functionality, the Learning Resource Centre at Ravensbourne College adapts – with minimal intervention – an existing rectangular building into a completely new style of library. The brickwork skin of a two-storey building from the seventies is peeled away and replaced with large, double-glazed low-e glass panels embellished with oversized graphics that play with the college logo. Internally, the original layout is stripped out to open up and unify the two floors. At the building’s west end, an open staircase is inserted into an existing double-height space to extend the sense of lightness. The combination of simple, bold moves has provided a flexible learning space which is used for a variety of activities ranging from quiet study to fashion crits, exhibitions and film sets.

The brief was to incorporate the college’s existing library collection and provide an extensive new IT facility within the existing building on campus. 


The design, a simple plan arrangement, was developed to minimise intervention with the original building. This was achieved by stripping out all existing non-structural partitions to the ground and first floor, unifying the interior space. The plan kept the office administration and IT facilities to the back of the ground floor plan, allowing the reception and magazine display areas to take advantage of the south façade.


An existing double height space was retained linking the now opened ground and first floor spaces. A new staircase was inserted into this space linking the reception to the main library area at first floor.


The ground floor brick panels along the extent of the open library shelving area and those to the double height space were removed. These were replaced with glazed panels incorporating the college logo as graphics to the glass. Again, the insertion of the glazing formed a visual link between the ground floor and first floor library space.


The simple move of opening and linking up the ground and first floor plans together has provided a flexible learning space which is used for many varying activities from quiet study to fashion crits, exhibitions and film sets.

 


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