The space is centred around bookcases and a canopy that aims to create a ‘serene’ environment, filtering light and controlling the acoustics. The double-height, translucent canopy uses thousands of small, round cut-outs to let the light into the space.
The Research Centre – which will be open to all – will occupy the ground and first floors of the museum’s Wellcome Wolfson Building, and is focussed on a central reading room space.
Coffey Architects director Phil Coffey says, ‘The scheme itself is a simple idea to 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.’
Visitors will be able to access more than 500,00 items from the Wroughton Library including archive collections and original works.
The reading room area contains the main bookstacks, a timber-lined Research Bar and private study areas. A small stair will connect this space to the upper mezzanine level, which features a common room and staff areas.