Preshil. The Margaret Lyttle Memorial School
The Preshil Senior School Library concept promotes open play and reflection in a space bridging the gap between exterior and interior learning activities. It was important to provide amenity for all ages, and develop strategies to encourage children to connect and interact between year levels, creating spontaneous and resilient learning dynamics.
The scheme created an open armature that supports occupation, interpretation and fluid interaction. Library stacks offer a physical and literal journey of discovery. The unknown lies just around the corner, a page turn away.
The Preshil Senior School Library was conceived from infinite journeys, developed to create multiple reconnecting paths of engagement across the floors within the library. These journeys proposed interaction with spaces within the library like you would a traditional book stack, but developed long and extended pathways of intrigue and searching.
The facade concept was inspired by the page side of a closed book – known as the fore-edge. The similarity of that word to forage held a nice play for us, a blend of hunting for food, of being on the edge of knowing and being hungry for knowledge.
The building form was developed to enhance both journeys and sightlines across the site helping to promote a connected culture across Preshil, moving students through the library, not just around it.
An interactive library interior with nooks to hide in and pathways to explore creates a lively and boisterous experience for children of all ages. Defying the traditional quiet reading spaces, the library was intended to promote movement, reflection and intense speculation along pathways, connecting social and individual spatial elements.
Blurring the lines between in and out, the exterior provided unobstructed travel through the centre of the library, creating an active courtyard for performance, play and repose. All of the lower level facades and undercrofts are activated by seating, lunch spaces, climbing walls, swings and art areas. This is a building to play on, in and around.
Developing micro communities and activities across the library footprint delivered a concept that was driven by the learning experience of the children who inhabited it. This experience promoted multiple modes of learning, play and activity, and didn’t limit the imagination of the user whether through physical or digital interactive systems.
A proposal with connection and learning at the heart of it, is a provocation that requires a bold and kind heart to deliver.