Design firm Lemay has completed the Bishop’s University Learning Commons project in Sherbrooke, Canada. The exceptional design that transformed the former John Bassett Library into a Learning Commons was borne of a sensitive, subtle and innovative approach.
The integrated design team considered the vision of all users – students, professors, librarians, administrators and university alumni – to create a bright and welcoming space promoting research and knowledge transfer.
A dedicated space for active and collaborative exchange
The tree of learning, its notions of knowledge, wisdom and growth, became the basis for the concept. Wood is deployed from the entrance, overlooking the landscaped academic quad, and onto the volumes that reach out towards the university’s celebrated natural forest.
Wood is the unifying element through its use in ceilings, floor and wall coverings, as well as furniture in the form of solid wood. In particular, the essence of hickory offers widely varying nuances and a natural quality that communicates warmth and integration with the bucolic campus.
The space allows students to express their curiosity, creativity and innovative spirit. In essence, the project for this space was an opportunity to evoke the meaning of the ‘commons’ expression itself: that is, a space accessible to all members of a community who share a common responsibility and vision.