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Library Design Case Study: Danum Gallery:Library:Museum

Opening the Book was excited to work with Doncaster MBC in creating the new Danum centre, bringing together the Central Library, the Museum and the Art Gallery to one site. The centrepiece of the building is the partially restored frontage of the 1920s’ Doncaster High School for Girls which has been retained inside a glass atrium. 

The unusual shape of the building presented many challenges and we were pleased to be able to work with the architects, project management team and main contractors, from the very early stages in 2017 till completion in 2020, to come up with a practical and flexible plan to accommodate the demands of all the services and provide a stunning space to represent the cultural life of Doncaster.

The discovery layout on the ground floor draws customers around the fiction collection, past the café towards the children’s library and the makerspace, branded Go Create.  The Non-fiction collection is housed on the first floor where there are comfortable chairs and tables for relaxed reading. 

A major part of the project was planning and designing clear and attractive guiding to help customers navigate the four floors of this complex building.  We worked with designer Paul Miller to create a suite of floor directories and wall signs as well as beautiful, locally-inspired decorative graphics to glazing and walls.  The project team was keen to showcase Doncaster’s many historical, industrial and fictional treasures, including Ivanhoe, the Vulcan aircraft, Thomas Crapper and Paddington, which were all incorporated into the graphics.

With all three services in the same building, it was considered important to build links between them and our Mobile Bookcases were ideal for displaying collections of relevant books in the Art Gallery and Museum areas.  A collection of books for railway enthusiasts was placed on the lower ground floor beside the two undoubted scene-stealers - the No. 251 Atlantic locomotive and the V2 Class Green Arrow – both built in Doncaster.


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