|Entrance in Saint James' Sqaure|
|A blurry shot but you get the picture!|
It was interesting to hear how the Library deals with incoming books and plans ahead for subject areas that they think will be popular in academic research. The Library has its own classification scheme, which makes browsing very serendipitous with butterflies being shelved next to camels and houses next to human sacrifice. Apparently members often come away with a whole load of books that they never expected to. Occasionally they will need to create new classifications for modern subjects but they are slow and careful about this to ensure that no unnecessary disruption is caused to the shelving of the books.
They are planning another phase of their refurbishment, carried out by Haworth Tompkins, who are incidentally the NT architects for NT Future. I could definitely see touches of HT throughout the London Library with their respect for original features and the need for light and functionality. The Library has won RIBA National and London Region awards and Amanda was very proud that the building is being appreciated as an entity on its own. The light well reading room in particular was a stunning space - I just wish I had had such a space when I was revising!
|Some beautifully bound volumes of The Times|
The most interesting space for me was...the toilets. The Library, during its refurbishment, wished to bring in an artist to create a new work related to the Library, as many cultural institutions are wont to do. Martin Creed took up the job and designed the toilets. Each toilet has different fixtures and fittings eg. sink, toilet roll holder, taps etc. and the floors are mosaics of marble. The colours in the marble are inspired by the different coloured book bindings and the layout reflects the serendipitous nature of browsing the shelves.