Interiors, furniture selection and architecture are the three pillars that make for exceptional library space design.
Maybe you’re looking for public library designs or school library design ideas?
You have come to the right place. The best place to find inspiration is around the world. You will be blown away by the architectural majesty of some of these libraries. That’s not to say we don’t have some fantastic libraries right here in Australia.
While there’s something so cozy about grand traditional libraries with great towering stacks, we are more partial to 21st-century library design with fresh contemporary finishes. There is a bit of everything in this post.
So, scroll on down. You’re sure to be inspired.
Cooroy Library & Digital Information Hub - Cooroy, Australia
Image Credits: hutchinsonbuilders
Voted as one of the ‘six coolest libraries in the world’. Cooroy Library is packed with cutting-edge technology, environmentally sustainable features and a grass-covered earth roof which actually assists in stabilising temperatures and reducing heating and cooling requirements.
The library has state-of-the-art facilities for toddlers, teens and the elderly, including a children’s discovery area with padded outdoor courtyard, toy library, group study room, community lounge with entertainment unit and space for 1000 DVDs and CDs. The young adult area includes Xbox and Playstation consoles, a sunken outdoor courtyard, fully glassed `peaceful lounge’ and a computer training room.
Noelene Munns Resource Centre (John Paul College) - Brisbane, Australia
John Paul College’s learning resource centre exemplifies the standard at which modern 21st-century learning environments should uphold. The architecture is contemporary with functional design elements such as tiered seating, inbuilt book shelving and window fixtures that let in plenty of natural light. The resource centre is a technological hub with state of the art computers, devices, drones and other digital resources that enrich learning and can inspire your library designs too.
Krokoms Public Library - Sweden
Image Credits: thedesignconcept
The Krokoms Public Library is designed to take advantage of the natural light from the large windows. The design has taken all age groups have been taken into consideration. There are several reading and study areas for older students and young adults and an amazing children’s area. Built-in wall niches offer a cozy nook for reading, tiered seating and cushions and lounges contribute to the overall relaxing aesthetic.
St Mary's College - Maryborough, Australia
St Mary’s library is the perfect example of a modern 21st-century school library. There are plenty of communal areas for students to congregate towards as well as nooks to escape to. The brightly coloured modular lounges offer flexible seating and booth settings for group activities. The Bloom Ottoman setting perfectly fits the space and serves as a reading area for the younger grades.
Lycee Paul Langevin - Suresnes, France
Image Credits: thedesignconcept
The Lycee Paul Langevin in France resembles more of a university commons with cosy nooks, deep reds, natural timbers and warm lighting that reflects a more homely feel. There are also study tables and private booths for individual study. The high windows and ceilings let in an abundance of light and create an airy atmosphere. A mezzanine level overlooks the library stacks and offers a different and viewpoint to be inhabited.
Ørestad School and Library - Copenhagen, Denmark
Image Credits: contemporist
Ørestad is a combined school and public library. It’s a cultural hub with a multitude of meeting places outside and inside. Eight floors of the school and connects a sequence of overlapping rooms of different sizes with different décor. The real hero of the space is the large-scale book display with built-in seating. The book display features pentagonal shapes and compartments for book storage with a tiered seating effect.
NUBO - Sydney, Australia
Image Credits: NUBO
Nubo is an innovative new educational play space that connects families through purposeful design and quality learning experiences. This one isn’t just a typical library, it’s a creative and imaginative play centre in Sydney, Australia. Created by Design Studio Frost*collective with PAL Design Architects.
There’s a variety of different rooms, each with a unique look that’s designed to evoke children’s imagination. The main room features a slide, playground and seating for parents. The colour pallet includes wood, whites, blues and grey. Futuristic and minimalist. Everything has a purpose and sparks joy. Tiered seating with LED strips creates hidden lighting and a space for storytelling.
Cordwalles Junior School Library - Surrey, England
Image Credits: cordwalles
If you have ever wanted to visit a magical forest, this schools library may be your best bet. Cordwalles Junior School Library has gorgeous feature walls depicting the lush greenery of a forest. The magic is in all the little details, the toadstools and tree-printed book-ends. The mossy grass covered carpets look fantastic and tie the whole feel together. This library space would be perfect for a themed book week.
Monroe County Public Library - Indiana, United States
Image Credits: matheuarchitects
The Monroe County Public Library renovation recognises all the current trends the best libraries have. The project includes a new Digital Creativity Centre, Teen Centre as well as a new Auditorium, Bookstore, Meeting Rooms, Collection Services and much more. The Digital Creativity Center provides state of the art technology learning and activity spaces for collaborative and independent learning. There are quiet zones, movable seating and plenty of communal areas.
Craigieburn Library - Victoria, Australia
Image Credits: architectureanddesign
Located in the Hume City suburb of Melbourne, the Craigieburn Library has been internationally recognised as the recipient of the 2014 Public Library of the Year Award. Designed by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, the Craigieburn Library was chosen for its modern construction and use of open and flexible space. Characterised by its high ceilings and windows that let in an abundance of natural light. The two-storey building also features a local art gallery, café, child-care centre, computer training centre as well as meeting spaces. The high-level exterior directional roof louvres are the most notable a unique design feature.