Marks, Thomas Architects renovated the library at the Dallas F. Nicholas Elementary School (#39) in Baltimore City. With the school originally designed in an open plan format much of the library has since become a passageway between other areas of the floor, not providing for a proper learning environment. A main design goal for this project is to close off the library from adjacent spaces. A new entrance serves as a privacy barrier to the adjoining rooms, as well as a new pathway to the interior layout. Inside the library, the design utilizes existing rooms to open up the space providing ample space for the four main zones of the room: a gathering reading area with amphitheater style seating for the young children, a reading area with tables and chairs to be used by a classroom group, several comfortable reading areas for individual seating, and added computer stations. A new storage / librarian room, circulation desk, and a private classroom are also part of the design. These new areas then also house the types of books found in the library – research and picture books, children’s books, and fictional and non-fictional books. The design concept reinforces the unique character of each subspace by layering materials and forms. By opening up the room and using translucent walls more natural light can filter through the space. Vibrant colors were chosen for the various components of the design, and an energetic ceiling system will be used to transform this library into an enjoyable learning area for the students at this school.
Dallas F. Nicholas Elementary School Library Renovation