Norwich High School library design

Norwich High School for Girls newly refurbished library design and build project was declared officially open by Mr Chris Riddell, Children’s Laureate after an intense 6 week programme of works by Envoplan.

Library Design Case Study Video


Norwich High School always aims to put girls first. Involving the girls in the design process for their library design project was a natural step for this forward-thinking independent girls day school. This exciting project was a library that was split over two rooms. The fiction library is located in the original music room of the main school building. Adjacent to the fiction library is the non-fiction zone, which is also known as the Bettelheim library. Norwich High School for girls wanted to create a library design that encouraged exploration and student interaction.

The space also needed to include a range of working zones and spaces so the girls could undertake different activities.


The library space was divided across two rooms, each with its own distinct style. The original Jameson library within the main listed building has a traditional feel, with dark wood bookshelves and original ceiling details. The newer Bettelheim Library has a more modern light and airy feel. Bringing the two spaces together was achieved with an intelligent approach to the library design strategy.


Envoplan installed a range of interesting features in this library project, including the ever-popular snugglestor seating space. Flip-top tables, stylish seating and collaboration tables with digital screens are all part of the scene in this creative library design project. We connected the original library with the newer space by using a traditional wallpaper. This was included in wall panels in the original listed building, and carried through onto the inside of the archway in the modern library area.

Throughout the project, the girls were fully involved in the design process. The library team, including both staff and students met regularly with our designers. The final scheme proposed was the result of extensive collaboration. The end result is a mix of sophisticated yet modern fabrics and finishes that connect and define the two spaces, each with their own distinct style.

We also manufactured bespoke shelving in curving shapes, encouraging exploration and discovery.

The finished library design project has made a profound difference to the school, and the students feel happier about being in the space. It has become an attractive environment in which to work, read or simply chat.


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