Norwich High School Library…Laureate Cuts The Tape
Norwich High School’s newly refurbished library was officially opened by Mr Chris Riddell Children’s Laureate on Monday 26th September, after an intense 6 week programme of works by Envoplan.
Mr Riddell said in a televised interview at which Envoplan’s designer was present “I do not think we will ever be without these magic things – books – their wonderful repositories – libraries – and the custodians of them; librarians”. In a tour of the Envoplan designed and built library, the Laureate praised the design of the circular reading snugs and said it even reminded him of some ideas he has for one of his next illustrated books. Imaginative children’s library design obviously has a part to play in connecting great British authors and their readers! Having won the library refurbishment through a selection process, Envoplan was commissioned to design bespoke upholstery for the carved Bettelheim memorial window seat in the Jameson Room, a study and reception room adjoining the main library.
A forum of students from across the school year groups were given the opportunity to show their flair for design by choosing the colour scheme for the new made to measure fitted book shelving, as well as seating, flooring and décor. The chosen palette and textures were displayed on a mood board and a 3D visualization commissioned by Envoplan to show what the result would look like. Following the opening ceremony, children from nearby schools were held spellbound when Mr Riddell told of his early illustrating life and gave some readings and drawings from some of his great books: The Goth Girl, and Ottoline and The Flying Fox. Signed copies were available for purchase
The library has benefited from a generous donation from a distinguished former student: the late Franziska Bettelheim who having escaped to the UK from Nazi Germany as a child, was provided with the education at Norwich High School to later go on to a very successful career in the oil company, Shell.
“The girls at Norwich High School are so thrilled” Said school librarian Liz Wraith, “Thank you for our new library.” The design included display and seating alcoves within the fitted shelving, and a work zone incorporating an audio visual screen solution. Comfortable seating was included to give a feel of well being and encourage a happy relaxed atmosphere whilst the girls browse. “Happy people do more” says Envoplan motto – for Norwich High School that means “Happy People Read More!”