Merchant Taylors’ Prep School

Merchant Taylors Prep School is part of the traditional Merchant Taylor family of schools in Hertfordshire. The historic buildings and 15 acres of grounds provide an excellent range of facilities and TaskSpace was delighted to be selected to design and install a new library at the school.

The school had already experimented with making a narrow loft space into a library. This “library in the loft” had proven to be so successful over the years that TaskSpace were commissioned to redevelop the space, and make it a unique feature of the school building.

The challenge was to make the most of the restricted space and make it function as a learning environment with plenty of colour, light with a clear “journey” through the space. The plan was to transform what was an under-used area into something that really celebrated and inspired a joy of learning, in keeping with the school’s ethos.

After working in close consultation with the headteacher and librarian, the TaskSpace team got to work, creating a woodland themed environment, complete with a snaking pathway from the entrance to the back of the room, with clever storage, seating and quiet spaces built into the length of the walls. Bold use of accent colour livens up the neutral walls and ceiling, while cleverly recessed windows and ceiling lights combine natural and artificial light effectively.

Soft furnishings in pops of colour and contrasting floors help to zone areas and draw the eye along the space. Natural wood finishes on the floor to ceiling shelving and a quirky tree shelving feature for books give the library a natural theme and bring the outdoors in.

The installation of the new library began in the summer holidays, and it was vital that work was completed by the time the new term started in September. The entire refurbishment was completed by the end of July, with plenty of time for school staff to organise the library contents before the end of the school holidays. The loft library is now a much-loved feature at the school, with staff and students alike making the most of this successful transformation of a difficult space.