Studio O+A recently redesigned Stevenson School's library for the digital age, incorporating collaborative aspects drawn from the workplaces students will soon be entering. For the Stevenson School, a coed day and boarding school in Pebble Beach, California, the design studio removed the library's shelves of unused books, acknowledging that most learning, research, and information storage now take place online. This allowed the designers to open up the space for the hands-on, collaborative forms of learning and study that now shape students' lives.
A semi-transparent freestanding wall divides social space from get-to-work space. O+A used furniture and flooring patterns to identify which areas are for study and concentration and which are for meeting and talking (quietly) with friends. Furniture is easy to rearrange, giving students choices about how to use the space and enabling teachers to use the library for special presentations.
Located in picturesque Pebble Beach, California, the Stevenson School is surrounded by nature, and O+A's first impulse was to draw its design palette from natural sources-the gray of driftwood, the pale tan of sand, bursts of color as if from wildflowers or berries. In the end, the final palette selections were tilted less toward nature per se and more toward freshness, a combination of hues that subtly suggest energy. The cleanliness of the current space starkly contrasts with the clutter that was there before and replaces a stale atmosphere with one of invigoration.
Photography: Kristina Cho