Aquinas Sixth Form College
Aquinas Sixth Form College underwent a complete rebuild programme. This provided an opportunity to rethink the role of the library and learning centre. The Learning and Resources manager said 'Our vision was to think differently, to forget how we have always done things and take an entirely fresh look at how we wanted to shape student learning and support outside of the classroom'.
FG Library were challenged to work with the Learning Resources Manager to bring that vision to reality over three floors, bringing together complementary learning, support, advice and guidance services under one roof. The library service, learning support, IT technical and support services, counsellor and careers advisor all operate out of the same space.
FG Library developed a design concept working closely with the colleges' vision for a flexible space over three colour-themed floors, where students could move between the informal and more formal learning and study spaces.
It works like a traffic light system. The ground floor, the green floor, has a relaxed informal feel, with the main doors open to the student street. Comfortable seating, a self issue terminal, PCs for email and internet access and a study garden all contribute to the informal atmosphere.
As students move through to 'amber' on the first floor they discover the main printed library resources and a more formal level of study in a space housing the Learning Support service, and group study rooms with desktop PCs and wireless enabled laptops on open access.
The second floor, the 'red' floor, is the main home for the centre's IT support and technical staff, with 74 drop-in PCs and three bookable spaces each with 24 PCs. The second floor is also the home for the sciences library.
FG Library incorporated the traffic light colour scheme into fascia, local seating and soft furnishings on each floor. The background colour was anthracite grey throughout, with colours picked out in acetate panels for the help desks. Display units were also matched to the floor colour schemes. By designing study tables, chairs and workstations in neutral colours the centre has complete flexibility of movement to create study spaces anywhere in the building.
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