BDP have completed the redesign and restoration of the iconic Smythe Library at Tonbridge School in Kent in the UK.
The architects stripped out all internal walls and corridors to create more open, flexible spaces spread over four levels of the existing building. The contemporary extensions to the north and south sides of the library are designed to take advantage of the school’s well-manicured gardens and vast grounds creating an experience similar to that of a gothic cathedral cloister.
The concept of the cathedral cloister was carried through the design and manifests itself in the form of a strong vertical structural rhythm improving circulation spaces. The addition of a largely glazed stair tower to the south side of the building meant BDP were able to drive a simple natural ventilation strategy as well as enabling high levels of natural daylight.