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Philosophy and Design Principles

Following intensive observation of patron behaviour in hundreds of libraries, Opening the Book created SpacePlanner shelving to bring a dynamic new approach to library interiors in the UK.

Through Brodart’s exclusive partnership with Opening the Book, the key principles behind the successful design can now be shared with Brodart dealers.

1. Open layouts with great views through the space

The curved shapes of SpacePlanner shelving create open, organic layouts which inspire more interest in any space than traditional straight rows. The shelving shapes draw people forward to explore. Their eyes and feet are pulled along the curves to the next section before they even realise. The entire space can be opened up as a series of discoveries.

2. Use shelving architecturally - create shapes and spaces

Shelving flows can be used to complement the shape of the building. Mix height and size to create anchors in the space and attractive through routes.

3. Use shelving to divide and zone a space

You can build your layout plan by starting at the library entrance or by placing an anchor shape mid-floor.

This example shows how SpacePlanner shelving can be used to articulate an unfolding pattern of differentiated spaces.

In the corner is the under 5s’ section with SpacePlanner Arc Runs curved off the wall to make embracing shapes. Opening the Book Picturebook Tunnels echo the curve. The space flows into an area for older children with 3-unit Propellers and reaches a tween area with funky seating and pc bar.

The flow of SpacePlanner Arc Runs creates a great space for children’s on one side. The other side could be shelved with adult non-fiction to support a buzzy area with computers, including configurations which can be used for informal class teaching and a collaborative desk with 3 seats at each large shared screen. 6-unit Propellers carry more of the adult collection and separate the social computer area from more formal traditional study desks which offer greater quiet.

An attractive lounge seating area is then created by a 6-unit Propeller connecting to a 6-unit Arc and a Double-sided Periodical Arc Run. This makes a great space for fiction browsing.

Each of these spaces has its own atmosphere and identity and yet there are no hard barriers. Views open up throughout the design and the whole layout feels airy and spacious.

4. Create impact with retail-style lightboxes

5. Build dynamic people flow

In traditional linear layouts the shelf ends have the effect of blocking the view. Research carried out by Opening the Book indicates that many patrons do not explore the whole library space. Only those who know what they want will walk the aisles of shelving in the examples below; many give up after a small foray.

6. Use color with confidence

7. World-class product display

SpacePlanner shelving is based on bookstore shelving which is designed to tempt customers to pick up a book. The curved shapes bring products into the eyeline at every turn. Bookcase shelves are angled back so that products are tipped up towards the eye. Bumpouts are supplied to bring products to the front of base shelves.

Shelf intervals are easily adjusted so the display always looks full and tempting, whatever the size of the product. Standard shelves are L-shaped and can be reversed in every book case to fit larger or smaller depths of book. Display shelves for face-out display are available and we also recommend using our acrylic Feature Fillers already available through Brodart.

The signage is also retail-style with dramatic lightbox graphics and clear bay headers making navigation very easy.

Library patrons are used to retail standards of merchandising where the customer makes no effort to find anything - products present themselves to the eyes and hands. SpacePlanner shelving brings this level of product display to the library world.

3D Layout Visuals

3D Unit Visuals

1-unit Mobile Arc

2-unit Arc

2-unit Mobile Arc

3-unit Arc

3-unit Propeller

4-unit Arc

4-unit Propeller

5-unit Arc

6-unit Arc

6-unit Propeller

9-unit Propeller

Double-sided Periodicals Straight Run & Arc Run

Single-sided Arc Run with Lightbox

Single-sided Arc Run

Single-sided Periodicals Straight Run & Arc Run with Lightbox

Single-sided Periodicals Straight Run & Arc Run

Single-sided Straight Run with Lightbox

Single-sided Straight Run

Unit Configurations

Single-sided Straight Run

1-unit Mobile Arc

2-unit Arc

2-unit Mobile Arc

3-unit Arc

3-unit Propeller

4-unit Arc

4-unit Propeller

5-unit Arc

6-unit Arc

6-unit Propeller

9-unit Propeller

Double-sided Periodicals Arc Run

Single-sided Arc Run with Lightbox

Single-sided Arc Run

Single-sided Periodicals Straight Run Arc Run with Lightbox

Single-sided Periodicals Straight Run Arc Run

Single-sided Straight Run with Lightbox

CAD Files

To follow

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