International Library Spotlight: The Forum Towcester, Northhamptonshire, UK

The new community building, The Forum is at the heart of Towcester, Northamptonshire is home to South Northants District Council and Northamptonshire’s County Council’s Library and Registrar (i.e., registration office for births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships).

Demco Interiors UK was the consultant for the interior design and furniture specification for the project, delivering the much desired WOW factor.

Multifunctional Civic Building

A typical trend in Europe is to build multifunctional civic buildings that provide a variety of services to citizens in one convenient location. The Forum is just that — seamlessly blending administrative services, offices and a library within a 1,920 square foot building. Special features include a design-led atrium and use of crossover items, such as glass display units and white book stands.

Glass display cases and white bookcases provide a consistent and neutral backdrop in this multi-purpose building.

Using Color to Define Spaces

The overall library space features a crisp white backdrop and is divided into zones defined by vibrant color themes. The children’s space features pops of blue and pink.

The white shelving in the children’s area is contrasted by pops of blue and pink soft seating and accents.

Transitioning further into the space, the adult area is defined by purples and greens. The color themes are expressed not only in the furniture but also in the flooring, lighting and other decorative elements, such a glass panels.

Careful consideration was taken in selecting the color themes. The green theme of the the adult learning rooms complements the view to the outside of trees, meadows and canals.

The On-trend White Wall

A standout feature of the library is an on-trend white wall. The stylish, white concealed storage walls, were designed and manufactured by Demco Interiors UK. The high gloss, white finish can be used as a whiteboard for displaying messages, posters, artwork, and more.  The handle-free, flush magnetic doors form clean lines and a clear, clutter free surface. Beyond general storage, the cupboards of the white wall conceal a mini kitchenette.

Ample Space for Nesting

Small pockets throughout the space are used for soft seating, giving visitors opportunities to do their own ‘nesting’. The materials used throughout the space are anti-bacterial, wipe clean vinyl, but they have the look and feel of fabric.

A Meeting Place

The Forum was designed with a variety of meeting places to accommodate different sized groups. A meeting pod will be used not only for internal meetings and by the public, but can also be rented by community groups. The light and airy meeting rooms are furnished with flexible furniture to support venues for adult learning.

Lasting Impressions

European libraries have long been a source of creativity in library design. As you can see from the photos in this Library Insights, The Forum is an on-trend library space that can certainly be an inspiration to all of us who influence library design and architecture.

Author

Marisa Amara

Marisa Amara

Library Consultant
Marisa works as a consultant on dozens of library space planning and furniture design projects as an associate of Kimberly Bolan and Associates. Her experience includes extensive background in product development, furniture project sales and architect and design market relationship development. This has given Marisa in-depth understanding of libraries, their spaces and the furniture needs.