All libraries must have delight, beauty and be attractive places for students to study. For us, every library starts with the idea that we take a book to light.
This principle led our thinking for the Exeter College Library design competition.
George Gilbert Scott understood this; the bays in Exeter College library respond to the apertures in the stone shell, transferring light and beauty from outside to the reader at their desk. Botanical decor on the Library’s facade continues on the windows and the bookshelves within to achieve a seamless integration of interior and exterior. The heritage of Exeter College Library is as much about its external environment as it is the interior space.
As George Gilbert Scott intended
Our proposals sought out architectural interventions that honoured the architect's original design intentions. We have restored his original cupped layout, with a strong focus on the bays. It was important to create a relationship between reader and window through strategic seating.
MARKED BY LIGHT
Tracing the sun path across the surfaces of the library will inform a new way of bringing the outside in. These traces become visual elements that could indicate important days of the year such as equinox, solstice or Gilbert Scott’s birthday.