Library revamp: Come in, come in, are you reading me?


Library revamp: Come in, come in, are you reading me?

FREE TO READ | Design duo throw the book at a dowdy old school library, shaking off the dust with a bold makeover

Mila Crewe-Brown

St Andrew’s School for Girls ( in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, is 117 years old. With history like that comes a responsibility to honour the past, while keeping up with changing times. The school recently undertook a bold renovation of its library, enlisting the talents of rising brother and sister duo Joanne and Peter Valasis of Atmos Architecture & Design (, whose work on Mythos restaurant in Rosebank was featured here. (

More than a mere facelift, the school was looking to revise the way the library functioned to keep up with technological advancements and methods of learning that have evolved since the days of silent reading at one’s desk.

“The library was previously more of a traditional space, with rows of library shelves filled with books that the pupils were not using. It was a little dated in its colours and materiality and functioned as a quiet space aimed at individual study, rather than communal engagement,” says Joanne Valasis...

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