Chetwoods’ proposals to revitalise the library of Rugby School have been granted planning permission. Rugby is one of the UK’s leading co-educational boarding schools with a long tradition of innovation. The School recognised that it needed a library that would respond and adapt to the challenges of the transformation of the education and work environment, and the scheme incorporates principles of wellbeing and sustainability throughout.
The Library is housed on two levels within the 1878 Temple Reading Room designed by William Butterfield. Chetwoods’ scheme will reconnect the library to adjacent uses and to the wider school estate.
A wide variety of study spaces and settings have been incorporated, with a new mezzanine floor to provide maximum flexibility. Functional improvements make the building fully accessible and overcome a number of environmental challenges.
A new wing to the rear elevation will increase space and connect to an unused courtyard, enhancing the wellbeing of students and staff. The new space will offer the school flexibility to hold educational and social events, ranging from full class sessions, small group areas and individual workspaces. The architectural solution has responded positively to the site’s constraints and opportunities, resulting in a simple built form and appearance that respects the inherent characteristics of the Temple Reading Room and the Rugby School Conservation Area as a whole.
The redevelopment of the Temple Reading Room will play an integral role in delivering an innovative educational experience and will reposition the library as the educational heart of the school.