Southeast Middle School Library

Southeast Middle School Library

  • Owner: Baltimore City School System
  • Size: 3086 SF
  • Cost: $151,800
  • Completion Date: 2005

This pro bono design for one of Baltimore City's poorest school districts is a pilot project for bringing innovative thinking to the design and renovation of the school's libraries.  Replacing two interior rooms that made up the existing library, the new library is a unified space animated by a continuous piece of interior furniture that accommodates instruction/learning spaces.

This continuous, but transforming system holds shelving, supports desk areas, houses computer terminals, defines an amphitheater, and supports specialty lighting.  Conceived as a Mobius strip of learning, it criss-crosses the space as it accommodates the library's program needs, ultimately tying back into itself after making its circuit around the room.  The circulation desk is defined by the one instance where the system crosses back over itself.

The end result is a place where students are both energized by their built environment and made aware of the infinite yet connected nature of human knowledge.