Carpet Design Speaks Volumes
CARPET design for libraries in schools and colleges is a significant area for specifiers and flooring contractors.
Libraries these days are hubs for learning in its broadest sense of the word. Gone are the days when pupils used them simply as reading rooms, now you are just as likely to find ICT zones and cyber cafes in libraries in schools and colleges.
As technology has advanced, so has library design and the modern library now more often than not provides space for independent research, electronic resources and collaborative study.
Barriers and partitions are becoming a thing of the past and zoning is being widely used in libraries to provide demarcation through use of colour to indicate different zones.
Where a library, for example, has areas dedicated to specific purposes, design techniques have been used, such as adding an eyecatching perimeter band of colour to bring the various spaces together.
There are a number of considerations to make when choosing carpet for a library in an educational building. Firstly, think about the different usages of the library. What dedicated areas will there be – for example ICT? Cafe? Reading zone?
Consider how these areas will be marked, through use of colour in carpet to ensure their purpose is clearly visible and they are used correctly.
Another important factor is to think about how much traffic the library receives and to choose a carpet that is significantly robust. Ofsted recommends that a library should have a large enough capacity to cater for at least 10% of its whole pupil population at any one time. Fibre bonded carpet is a great choice for libraries as it is very hardwearing and will retain its aesthetics for years, if well maintained.
If the library has a specific reading zone – consider how is this going to be used by pupils – for example, will it have soft seating or will pupils be seated on the floor? If so, carpet, with its thermal and comfort properties, would almost certainly be the best option.
Another consideration is the acoustics of the library. No one expects libraries to be silent these days, but they are still known for being quieter than classrooms and need to be places where pupils can concentrate and carry out personal study. Some carpets are known for their sound deadening properties, helping to prevent sound reverberation around the room
Another colour consideration is how much natural light does the library actually have? If windows are small or restricted, then a lighter coloured carpet may be more suitable. For best results, it is possible to co-ordinate the colour of the carpet and the furniture to create a well co-ordinated and aesthetically pleasing library environment.
Sharni Verity is a marketing executive at Heckmondwike FB
This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.