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Create a showstopping Children’s Library was the brief!

The existing Children’s Library at Manchester Central Library, although in the same space, seemed tucked away, invisible, almost an extension of “The Library”. So, when we were approached by the project team at MCC to create a new space, our challenge was to make it a space of its own, a destination.

We immediately made the conscious decision that colour, visual impact and graphics would be key in highlighting the space from the main library entrance. This said, we had to ensure we made considered material, texture, lighting, and soft furnishing choices. We didn’t want to go “primary”, rather eclectic, with a playful, exploratory theme.

With the inclusion of striking wallpaper on both the back wall and adjoining pillars we easily tied all spaces together, making the Children’s Library visible from the main entrance. Picking elements of the wallcovering theme and aligning them with proprietary and custom-made products, staged areas and sustainable fabric selections we provided solutions to allow younger readers to take ownership of the library, to feel welcome and “included”. The use of double-sided dens created clever reading spaces that allowed light and sightlines to penetrate the space, adding an extra element of security.

We’ve created a space that engages children by using playful house shapes and silhouettes, and collaborative staged areas with good old fashioned chalk boards, whilst still working for parents and carers alike by using key items of playful furniture, creating a home from home environment for all users.

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