The Library is a part of Wakeford Hall, a multi-layered academic building being developed by Design + Make students at the centre of the AA’s Hooke Park campus. Following the completion in 2017 of the Library’s sculpted timber frame, a second group of students re-invented an existing proposal for the building’s envelope. Key design drivers for the project were established through the investigation of numerous libraries, readings, case studies and sites visits.
The library’s skin is composed of a series of prefabricated wood panels constructed and assembled in sequence – twenty panels carefully arranged against the skeletal structure’s geometry. A thorough 3D laser scan of the assembled structure allowed us to ensure that design decisions were based on the assembled reality. Carefully offset from the skeleton using slender steel components, light is able to penetrate between the Library’s many layers, and the wooden frame becomes the first item in its collection.
Individual elements designed and fabricated by each of the students were inserted carefully in spaces between the Library’s structure and skin. The project’s development reflects a continuous back and forth between studio discussions, workshop experiments and discussions with many parties.