Clayton High School Library

  • area / size 9,572 sqft
  • Completed 2022
  • Bond Architects created a functional and collaborative space at the Clayton High School Library in Clayton, Missouri.

    Bond Architects worked with the School District of Clayton to redesign their school library to better meet the changing needs of their students. To reflect their rich and rigorous academic culture, the District wanted to offer its students a collegiate-level library experience. This required transforming the library into versatile space supporting self-directed learning and freedom of choice. Bond Architects used a collaborative design approach to get feedback from students about their needs from a school library.

    After speaking with students, Bond Architects and the district chose to prioritize: multiple meeting spaces, well-defined zones for different activity and noise levels, a flexible furniture plan providing multiple options for diverse work and study styles, and restorative space for student mental health.

    When developing new study rooms, a challenge our team faced was balancing student’s desire for privacy with faculty’s need to monitor behavior. Our final design relied on natural surveillance to subtly ensure safety and security. The main staff desk has clear sightlines to every area of the library. Glass walls on study rooms give students a private workspace while remaining visible to faculty.

    An important aspect of the higher education experience is the independence college students enjoy. To give Clayton High School students a more collegiate atmosphere, the new library space would have to give them control over their environment. Students mentioned that the existing library could feel overwhelming and noisy during busy times. They wanted a more orderly experience with clearly defined areas for different activity or noise levels. We divided the library into distinct “zones”: active, gather, quiet, study, and restful meditation. A gathering area features a fireplace and soft seating, perfect for socializing. For students who need a quiet retreat, a “cozy” area tucked into an alcove offers floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and high-back chairs. An area of “coffee-shop style” seating with small tables and chairs allows students to work in solitude while still having a quiet murmur of background activity. Students now have more control over the level of noise, activity, or socialization they engage in when visiting the library.

    Design: Bond Architects
    Contractor: ICS Construction
    Furniture Dealer: CI Select
    Photography: Neil Endicott | Front Door Media