The Brief

The Ruth Gorse Academy in Leeds released a tender for the refurbishment of their new student library with the objective of creating a contemporary, sophisticated environment for everyone. A space that promotes inclusiveness and wellbeing for students in order to promote peaceful study, reading for pleasure and careers support. 

When it opened its doors for the first time in September 2016, the Ruth Gorse Academy was the largest free school in the country accommodating up to 1580 students. The Academy Trust has an ambitious vision, for the building to act as a catalyst for further regeneration in the southern central area of Leeds. The Ruth Gorse Academy, as its central mission, focuses on ensuring that young people enjoy access to a truly inspirational secondary academy and has been graded Outstanding by Ofsted. The new library and careers center was an integral part of that mission.

The Solution

Upon award, the FG Library & Learning design team worked closely with the The Ruth Gorse Academy team to bring to fruition designs to accommodate the different aspects of the library environment. The design plan encompassed a welcome reception and large library facility combined with a dedicated careers support space for staff and students. Along with library shelving, study desks, soft breakout seating and private acoustic pods for one to one and small team meetings. Camira ‘Quest’ fabric was specified throughout for all upholstery – Camira’s partnership with the SEQUEL INITIATIVE to combat marine plastic pollution. The fabric is 100% recycled using post-consumer plastic waste.

Leading from the welcome reception to the central part of the library is a soft seating area, including individual high back tub chairs with device tables offering a private space for study and research. Whilst flexible flip-top mobile tables with comfortable stacking and truck-able chairs provides a truly flexible study space allowing it to be cleared and opened up for multi-use i.e. author visits, events and presentations for example.

Oasis Soft Duo and Team Pods feature with lighting, sliding doors and louvered ceiling providing meeting room privacy when needed in the careers zone. Duo pod provides space for up to two people and the Team pod provides space for 4 people. The pods were upholstered in Camira Quest fabric – 100% post-consumer recycled polyester* *Created with a conscience, Quest is a continuation of Camira Fabrics’ partnership with the SEAQUAL INITIATIVE to combat marine plastic pollution.

The library space was created to enhance a sense of nature and calm. Latitude wall shelving (anthracite steel frame) with a woodland wall mural and integrated bespoke ‘hideaway’ seating pod in Camira Quest fabric. Captivating display, mobile Element units are positioned through the space to provide front cover book display and table top space for feature books.

As a designer, manufacturer and installer, FG Library control the quality at every stage. The attention to detail applied to every aspect of the project, mean that the furniture arrived on time, to the highest standard, with professional installation providing a high-quality finish and immediately ready to use facility. This was achieved by their experience and excellent manufacturing facilities, but also their expertise in Project Management and working with other professional providers.

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