Holy child Library Project
“Brighten the corner where you are” … A favorite phrase used by our CEO, Nana Akua Birmeh, believing that the best way to change the world is by ‘changing’ your immediate environment and by corner we mean everywhere: where you live, work or worship. It could be an institution you belong to, a school you passed out from, a hometown or even a place you’re fond off.
Taking up the Holy Child library was a “brighten the corner where you are” moment for Archxenus, as 90% of the executives and departmental heads are HOPSANS (Holy Child Old students). Giving back to the very institution that shaped them was an architectural mandate.
In Ghana, it is an institutionalized tradition for old students to undertake projects for their Alma.
When approached by the HOPSA 92/94-year group to renovate Holy child senior high School library, as past students ourselves, we took the opportunity to literally design the kind of space we would have loved to have in our time.
Of course, like most projects, this one had a restricted budget and a definite timeline we could not be extended.
A typical library in a school will often present as purely functional with little or no conscious attempt to engage the user beyond traditional bookshelves, standard tables and chairs and if you’re lucky a couple of décor pieces here and there.
We assessed the existing space and identified what elements could be retained, replaced or reused.
The existing floor, which was finished in smooth terrazzo with a unique green color, was retrained and polished to burnish it.
The old wooden chairs and shelving were dismantled and reused for the swanky new shelving.
The space was reorganized to free up the areas along windows to admit maximum natural lighting.
Also, strikingly visible were a series of exposed concrete beams in the ceiling, inspiring the concept ‘the tunnel of knowledge’.
By creating a series of archways along each beam to frame the central circulation, the tunnel effect was created with vistas at each end, adorned with theme appropriate murals and text for women empowerment.
The librarian station was given a “pride of place” with the introduction of an organized workstation.
Soft comfortable pouf seating was provided at the foot of each archway for comfortable/relaxed reading.
The walls were repainted with the year group color, purple, with touches of white paint in artistic patterns. Overall we sort to refurbish the library to
– Create a comfortable space
– Simulate interest for knowledge
– Create a go-to interactive place that accommodates different reading/learning settings
And that it exactly what was achieved.
To pull the project off within 3months meant we had to be thorough, innovative and realistic. It reaffirms that
Architecture is experience
Architecture is a problem solver
Architecture doesn’t cost much &
Architecture creates, affects and changes mindsets