Like sitting under a tree: Coffey Architects' plans for Science Museum Research Centre

Toby Wilsdon | 09 June 2014

Coffey Architects say they will recreate the feeling of "sitting under a tree on a summer’s day, reading a book" for the new Science Museum Research Centre

an architect's drawing of a library
"Like sitting under a tree reading a book". Coffey Architects' design for the Science Museum Research Centre© Coffey Architects
An award-winning young architectural practice has won the competition to design a new facility intended to integrate exhibitions and research at The Science Museum’s Wellcome Wolfson Building in London.

Made by Coffey Architects, the Science Museum Research Centre will consist of two major elements, a shaded quiet study area located among the bookstacks and a light-filled reading room.

As well as the book collection the new library will act as a portal to more than 500,000 items contained within the Science Museum’s large object store and archive at Wroughton, near Swindon and is planned to open by 2015.

Thousands of small oculi set within the translucent canopy above the reading room will create a dappled effect and acoustic conditions conducive to study.

Phil Coffey, the director of the firm, said the scheme was a "simple" idea which would “recreate the feeling of sitting under a tree on a summer’s day, reading a book”.

“The proposed canopy will create light and acoustic conditions conducive for study, as well as offering a unique space with a strong identity to be enjoyed by both casual and academic users," he added.

Karen Livingstone, the director of masterplan and estates at the Science Museum Group, said planners were "delighted" with the designs for an "elegant" reading room.

Work on the project is expected to start in spring 2015.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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