Starting work on the renovation of the Skolkovo International Gymnasium Library, we began to contemplate what a modern library truly is. It is not just a place for storing books; it is a space for communication and knowledge exchange. Moreover, we wanted to create a place that would be loved by the Gymnasium students. Instead of the traditional concept of a library, where visitors are focused on reading books in complete silence, we designed a vibrant and inspiring environment where acquiring knowledge becomes an enjoyable game. Our concept was based on the principle of a collage – a flexible system where various pieces of information come together to form the unique knowledge base of each child. This principle was projected onto the library’s architecture, making it highly versatile, with different elements that can be combined to create entirely new functional spaces.
While entering, visitors are greeted by a softly rounded reception area, which used to be rectangular and angled towards visitors. Now, the reception is open and welcoming, and has become more comfortable for the librarians to work there. The central zone features a picturesque fragment of the floor painted in blue, symbolizing the collage idea – it resembles a piece of paper cut with uneven edges. On this floor, there is an unusual sofa composed of modular units that can be easily rearranged, allowing for different configurations. A mobile system of shelves in various shapes and sizes enables easy space reconfiguration, thus creating cozy areas for reading and work. A large, soft podium surrounded by open shelves with literature for the youngest readers creates a charming zone for activities with students in the early age group. It serves as an additional space where children can develop, interact, play, and communicate with each other.
To enhance illumination and its uniformity, a grid of linear general lighting fixtures was installed. They are complemented by sculptural-shaped luminaires that create accents and highlight the main work areas: the reception, children’s area, and worktables.
The Skolkovo Library project is an example of how vibrant design can harmonize with convenience and functionality, how the traditional function of a library can transform into something new – a free and comfortable space where getting acquainted with books becomes a fun and engaging activity.
Architecture: Vera Odyn, Anna Novikova, Polina Dudkina, Maria Zinukova, Nikita Morenov
Client: Skolkovo International Gymnasium
Area: 429,2 м2
Photos: Sergey Ananiev