Brackenbury School Library Project

Jessie McIntosh, London, 2013


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Doughnut and ceiling cloud 

Timothy Soar (website)     Download Original

  • Doughnut and ceiling cloud    
  • Octagonal central space    
  • Colour-coded classification graphic     
  • Reading pod    
  • Central seating    
  • Brackenbury library    
  • Low level shelving    
  • Reading pod    
  • Central doughnut seating    
  • Plan    
  • Section    
  • Initial sketch    
  • Initial rendering    
  • Brushed Aluminium Shelving    
  • Birch faced ply bookcases    
  • Librarian station    
  • Ceiling lighting cloud    
  • Pod table    
  • Pod bench    
  • Central doughnut    
  • Doughnut desks    

School library at the heart of a diverse community primary school in Shepherds Bush

The school building is situated on a large site and dates back to 1879. The school’s classrooms are fitted out with up-to-date resources and there are additional spaces for IT, music, art and drama. The library lacked sufficient shelving and seating and was not meeting the requirements of the 520 students using the space. It was identified that there was the need to create a flexible, dynamic learning environment to act as a focal point for the school and a centre for learning resource.

The rigidity of a formal library is dismissed in favour of a brightly lit octagonal open-plan area, surrounding the children with books; accommodating an entire class for group work. Three reading pods with data/power points lend themselves to smaller group work and special needs teaching.

The library is organised with a simple colour-coded classification graphic and clear signage encourages an ever-evolving space.

At less than 1.5m high, child-friendly lower shelving improves sightlines. The top surfaces provide sizeable areas for display.

Low level magnetic display areas can be easily manipulated by young pupils.

The architect co-managed fundraising for the project with fellow parent Robyn Cheswright and donated all architectural services on a pro bono basis.


  • Begun: Jul 2013
  • Completed: Sep 2013
  • Floor area: 60m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £96,000
  • Funding: The funding was raised via charitable means by the parents of the school
  • Procurement: Jessie McIntosh donated all architectural services on a pro bono basis. Willmott Dixon project managed the project, supplied much of the materials and general labour pro bono. All subcontractors worked for no profit
  • Address: Brackenbury School Library, Brackenbury Primary School, London, W6 0BA, United Kingdom

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