Learning promenade

6th form resources centre and study, Bishop Thomas Grant School, Streatham, London

Venerable old institutions in public schools and monasteries tend to have a culture of personal study that is given heightened status and encouraged through generous embellishments of its libraries and learning spaces. Niches for thought and solitude are formed amongst the bookshelves.

Entering the sixth form in a London Comprehensive requires increasing time devoted to individual study but libraries can be under-booked or even bookless.

Through the reinvention and arrangement of an ancient furniture typology, the carrel, “a small desk (usually) featuring high sides meant to visually isolate its user from any surroundings either partially or totally” (Wikipedia), this project brings real class to this once-library room, which SCABAL helped to transform at Bishop Thomas Grant school in Streatham (BTG) as a prelude to their BSF project – without the need for thousands of books.

The carrels at BTG, all formed from 38mm colour-laminated MDF supplied by manufactures Egger and formed by joiners Amaria, provide a mixed collection of discrete work stations with excellent valence arranged loosely but efficiently down the long room, which can be used by one student at a time, two, three or shared between four.

Service: Architects

Location: Bermondsey, Rotherhithe, Canary Wharf

Client: Bishop Thomas Grant School, LB Lambeth

Cost: £100k

Areas: XX m2

Dates: 2006

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