Designing for educational environments is always interesting, particularly where collaboration and informal teaching is required. McLoughlin Architecture recently completed the Learning Resource Centre in Belvedere College, Dublin, prior to the opening of this space the school had never had a library space that also encouraged group work/ informal learning. From the onset of this architectural project, we wanted the space to be flexible to facilitate a number of different functions. Within the main entrance area of the LRC, custom designed tiered seating is used to allow students to sit and listen to visiting guest speakers, participate in group discussions and also giving them a more relaxed area to sit and read books individually.

Adjacent to this area we incorporated two large group pods that allow students to work in groups. Surfaces in this area are hard wearing and durable, amongst them included leather upholstered seating and “write on”/ “wipe off” table surface.

Directly beside this area is the information literacy section, students can carry out their own literacy research or consult with the Librarian on suitable topics etc whose desk sits within this area. McLoughlin Architecture’s positioning of the librarian’s desk centrally in the space allows students to consult with the librarian and seek assistance in their research. To facilitate quiet reading/ individual project work we designed a large study room adjacent to the librarian’s desk that is visible to the front section and is separated by clear glazing – transparency is key here while it also provides a quiet space away from the busier group areas. The colour scheme is lively and fresh and is enhanced by a new LED lighting scheme designed by McLoughlin Architecture. The real success of this educational project is the use it gets, it is providing a space for students to learn in different ways.

View the full project here.


View showing the Pods and Literacy Area with “write on”/ “wipe off” table surfaces



View through Group Area into Quiet/ Study Zone



View of Quiet/ Study Zone