• 23 November 2020

New library becomes heart of St Mary’s Calne school campus

Waterman is delighted to see the completion of St Mary’s Calne’s new school library.

Taking a central place in the extensive 25-acre grounds of this outstanding Wiltshire independent day and boarding school, the stunning new 660 m2, two-storey library was designed by architect Woods Bagot in collaboration with the headmistress, staff, librarians, and students to offer a truly unique facility.

The library’s ground floor offers a dynamic space for group projects and gives direct access to the adjacent mature apple orchard, whilst the first storey comprises a range of areas for formal focused, individual studying. The full-height glazed façade enhances views of the orchard and, together with the first-floor glazing which extends to the eaves of the striking undulating roof, fills the building with natural light. To maximise the space available for learning and reading, the design minimised the use of conventional book racks placing study booths, display zones and shelving within the interior walls.

Waterman’s team provided civil and structural designs for the library. Sitting above a series of precast concrete ground beams supported by CFA concrete piles, the ground and first floors were formed using 200mm deep precast concrete hollow core plank units with structural screeds.

The structure’s unique roof was created from six square bays supported by six circular steel columns representing trees and connecting the library to the orchard. An assembly of steelwork trusses within the roof form the expressive geometry and provide support to the timber soffit of the tree-like structures.

Waterman’s Director for Structures, Mike Broderick, said: “I am very pleased to see this unique building completed and open for students to enjoy. The library will offer an incredible learning facility for many years to come and is a showcase for what can be achieved through a collaborative and creative design process.”

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