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Trinity School Library and Great Hall

Trinity Lower School Library, used by kindergarten to 8th grade, was transformed from a dark, cramped space with detrimental acoustics into a dynamic, flexible, and child-centered environment that allows students to use the library for a broader range of academic pursuits. The library needed to accommodate simultaneous classes with students between 4 and 14 years old, but because it was poorly planned, loud, and—as one student described it—dreary, it failed to provide spaces that served the entire community.

The first step was to reprogram the library to accommodate large and small groups as well as intimate spots for individuals to read and reflect. A glazed acoustic partition and a flexible shelving system creates discreet, age-appropriate areas for simultaneous use. Modern, movable, easily stackable furniture add to the flexibility.

In the center of the library, tables and chairs cater to lower school children for reading, research, and collaboration. It also allows teachers and librarians to lead groups while others study or explore the stacks. Stepped seating in blues and greens under the library’s windows introduce a relaxed space for story-time. On the opposite side of the room, nooks upholstered with persimmon-colored fabric are incorporated into shelving and are special places where individuals or a parent and child can escape. A generous and flexible classroom on the other side of the glass partition gives the middle school its own place to work and explore. An updated technology lab provides resources to teach and expose students to computer-aided curriculum like coding and robotics. By adding digitally-controlled lighting, lifting the ceiling, and reintroducing an historic skylight, the library is more light-filled and comfortable. Lastly, the addition of an ADA lift to make the library fully accessible realizes a library that is inclusive, accessible, multi-use, and truly capable of supporting the school’s mission.