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Case Studies

Winstanley College


Winstanley College has consistently been one of the top ten highest performing sixth form colleges since 2000, and in 2012 was awarded “sixth form college of the year” by the Sunday Times.

In 2013 the college rebuilt its Library, which up to that point had been housed in a converted 1950’s gymnasium. The college set out to create a purpose built space for student study at the heart of the college campus, inspired by the Saltire Centre at Glasgow Caledonia University.


The college hoped to create a new library with a variety of different spaces and layouts for individual and group study and research. The Librarian was keen to find a configuration of desks which would reduce noisy social interaction to help students to work peacefully.

Tenders were sought from a range of furniture suppliers but most responses used standard desking in curves or straight rows. Our plans stood out immediately as being different.

We could manufacture our own desks in unusual shapes and with a much wider choice of colours and finishes. The saw tooth desks the college had selected for its main IT and study area give students their own workspace which means they are less likely to be distracted by their neighbours on either side.

The diagonal layout makes the room feel wider and allows better circulation between the desks. Bright white desks were chosen with a refreshing lime green trim to complement the Architects choice of olive carpets and white walls. 

Other zones for silent study, group work, a wi-fi bar, book storage and reading were also made possible with creative input from our designers at Godfrey Syrett and we helped to ensure that no space was wasted.

An exciting variety of fabrics were chosen which brighten up the building whilst avoiding uniformity. In all Godfrey Syrett paid great attention with every detail to get the building just right.

Winstanley College Comments

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” (Benjamin Franklin). We can only guess at the benefit the new library will have upon the future lives of our students. However their feedback about the new building has been massively positive and so it is perhaps best to let our students comments speak for themselves.

“It feels all snazzy.” “Really modern and quirky.” “The colour scheme… helps with concentration.” “Innovative.” “Modern interior – more relaxed and I no longer mind going to study.” “It’s smart.” “I work better there than at home.” “I really like it.” “It’s so peaceful I am able to get on with my work.” “Very professional.” ”Stylish and welcoming.” “Brighter and more spacious.” “I like how it is very chilled and calm – it eliminates stress!” “How organised and well laid out everything is – computers- desks – books etc.” “Working has never been so peaceful!” “I like the layout of the computer room.” “the computer area is by far the best place in college to get work done, I like how the work areas are separated from one another to minimise distractions.” “They aren’t in uniform rows- it’s all eye catching and bright – all over I love it!” “I’m more inclined to work because I have my own space.” “Simply fantastic.”

The new library was officially opened in 2014 by former students Laura Barton and Phil Breen who had been inspired to learn in the old one. We hope that the bright new Library will help many more students to develop a passion for learning. The furniture from Godfrey Syrett is part of the inspiration.