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Women’s Library, London School of Economics

London, England

The London School of Economics (LSE) is home to the Women’s Library, the oldest and most extensive collection of material on the subject of women’s history in Europe. As the custodian of this unique collection, LSE commissioned RAA to create a dedicated exhibition space in which to host an ongoing and evolving program of exhibitions drawing on the women’s library and highlighting LSE’s longstanding tradition of research, learning, and knowledge exchange.

This project is notable for its remarkable flexibility and updateability. The design provides the librarians with a set of physical and digital tools, facilitating the creation of a great range of intelligent, relevant exhibitions.

A spectacular, fully customizable media wall featuring a shifting contextual display of digitized documents and photos unifies the space. Visible through the street-facing window of the gallery, the media wall creates a lively “front page” to draw visitors into the space. A digital and physical content management system was created to allow LSE’s librarians to update the exhibition. The large showcase is modular, allowing it to transform depending on the requirements of the collections displayed.

Backlit exhibition graphics use LED technology, enabling careful control of light levels, while templates developed for graphic panels allow the client to directly print new interpretive panels as the content of the exhibition changes.

Since opening in April 2015, the gallery has featured its first exhibition on connections between women’s rights and other social causes. Positioned at the entrance to the library, this exhibition is visible to as many as 5,000 visitors per day.

Size 645 square-feet

Year 2015

Architect PLB Architects

Project Details

FabricatorsPeak Contractors

Audio-Visual IntegrationSysco

Interactive MediaCentre Screen

LightingMichael Grubb Studio

Structural EngineeringCarter Clack

MEPCBG Engineers

Photography Andrew Lee