The interior design of a learning environment can greatly influence those who use the building. When chosen correctly, lighting, color and layout have been proven time and again to influence productivity learning, concentration and mood.
When this knowledge is used to its potential in buildings that encourage leanring, productivity levels rise exponentially, offering a premium environment for education.
This concept has been recognized by the Canadian industry in their choice of winning design at the 2012 Library Interior Design Competition, with the Harris Learning Library at Nipissing University and Canadore College awarded Best of Category for Academic Libraries over 30,000 square feet and, in the process, setting a new benchmark for library design of large scale buildings.
“We are very pleased to see our library, and the architect’s creative work, be recognized with this award,” says Nipissing University president and vice-chancellor Vicky Paine-Mantha. “Our students and our community members benefit greatly by having such a beautiful and well-designed building to inspire them while working and studying.”
The library, designed jointly by architectural firms Diamond + Schmitt Architects and Evans Bertrand Hill Wheeler Architecture Inc., is a testament to design that encourages collaboration.
Using what has become a growing interior design movement in both the office and education sectors, the team based their design on an ideology that focuses on promoting both quiet and group work spaces to boost productivity, solidify community and camaraderie and offer a optimal environment in which innovation can grow.
The optimization of natural light throughout the building allows students to learn without the uncomfortable glare of traditional office and educational building lighting schemes. The separation of spaces based on their function – private study, group study, computer work – means environments are tailored to the needs of students.
Comfort is maximized through the implementation of relaxation spaces, with Wi-Fi technology throughout the building offering students even more flexibility to engage with their own unique learning styles in an environment that best suits them.
“The Harris Learning Library is a tremendous learning resource used extensively by our students and our broader community,” says Canadore College president George Burton. “This award is a testament to the world-class learning environment created by the library.”
Libraries are highly influential buildings. They are the breeding grounds for a new generation of educated leaders. Encouraging education through design is a key step in bettering future generations and maximising their learning potential. This is being recognised by the industry for is potential, and is something that will continue to be encouraged moving forward.