In 2011 Coffey Architects were named the recipients of the Stephen Lawrence Prize for our library and music room extension at St. Patrick’s School in Kentish Town, London. The prize is funded by the Marco Goldschmied Foundation and is awarded in honour of the memory of the teenager who was setting out on the road to becoming an architect. This award is a monumental mark of respect and is bestowed on an annual basis to architects that create projects for a budget of under £1 million. We remain honoured to have been awarded this very special prize that serves to encourage new talent and innovation that works to make the most of limited budgets.
Known as The Book Box, the library was conceived as a versatile, adaptable space which can be used in several different ways. The open plan of the floors allowed for easy access to the book shelves at ground level and the musical instruments on the first floor, encouraging the children to use both mediums and make the most of the facilities. The double height was intended to promote an open, airy feeling and provide natural ventilation, making the library an inviting and comfortable space. The building opens up to create an external space, ideal for conducting lessons or for putting on performances and plays.
The intention was to promote and encourage the active pursuit of knowledge and creative passion, while giving the students and teachers the option to use their space in several different exciting ways. We hope that our library design has contributed to helping children learn, grow and reach their goals.