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Situated on a bustling London street, sits this modern “Tardis-like” property with a hidden gem at the heart. The homeowner was an enthusiastic lover of books and boasted a substantial book collection, therefore a bespoke private library was designed to fill the centre of the home.

In this extensive library, which covered two floor levels, IQ Glass UK designed and installed a series of glass bridges to access the upper bookshelves, with frameless glass balustrades and frameless roof lights.

The library was hollowed out to create a double-height space where the bookshelves could flood the walls. Opening up the room in this way not only created more space, but it also resulted in a bright and light feel to the interior design.

The design of the library encompasses many aspects of the homeowner’s hobbies, career and passion for natural history. Artwork joins the display of literature throughout the double-height space, offering a visual representation of the homeowner’s love of the natural world including rare and endangered animals.

The level of natural light within the library creates the perfect setting to display books and artwork as the lighting isn’t too harsh but still allows the space to feel bright and uplifting. The number of windows in the library was kept to a minimum, to create not only more wall space for the book and art collections but also to ensure the room was softly lit. 

IQ Glass installed strip rooflights to the length of the library ceiling (on both sides) to allow the light to naturally flow down into the space below. To the ground floor, a single frameless glass window allows gentle light in beside the piano where the homeowner can enjoy views out into their garden.

The rooflights were relatively slim which allowed enough light to flood into the library without it being too overpowering, which would cause sun damage to the books and artwork. To let the flow of light continue throughout the library, as much frameless internal glass was used as possible to eliminate any obstruction.

A glass lift shaft and glass lift car connect both floors of the double level home library which travels up to the roof and into a glazed roof box extension. IQ Glass designed and installed the frameless glass lift shaft using structural glazing for a contemporary finish.

The frameless structural glass has a subtle finish, so the structure doesn’t overpower the room. The lift car was included within the design but supplied by a company that worked on this project alongside IQ Glass to get a cohesive minimal aesthetic.

The glass lift is accessed from the main house, just on the other side of the library through passageways that lead from both the ground floor of the library and the bridges where the first-floor level would have been. The glass lift can be used to easily travel between the two floors in the library room but also to access the glass box extension on the rooftop.

The rooftop glass extension is an outstanding space to view the surrounding London cityscape and it also allows light to travel down into the library synonymously with the roof glazing. The gentle level of light is perfect for this space, especially where the homeowner can relax on the sofas in the centre of the room and enjoy reading books without any harsh lighting.

The glass box extension was also created using structural glass with glass walls and a glass roof to get the maximum influx of natural light.

Structural glass was chosen for this as it offers no visual obstruction which means the homeowner can get a beautiful indoor-outdoor living experience within the glass box. Having this contemporary feature at the top of the lift shaft creates a luxurious architectural design.

The bridges within the library were designed to provide a practical solution for accessing the upper floor of the library while still allowing light to flow throughout the space. Therefore, IQ Glass designed the bridges using sandblasted glass floors and frameless glass balustrades.

The glass floors were manufactured using structural glass that was toughened and laminated for extra strength. This glass was then sandblasted which creates a non-slip surface for safety purposes when the homeowner is walking along the bridge. The laminated toughened glass was chosen as the laminate ensures that the glass floor stays intact and doesn’t fall into the space below if a breakage was to occur.

Frameless glass balustrades were attached to the sides of the bridges for protection from the level changes when the homeowner walks along the bridge. The internal balustrades are manufactured similarly to external balustrades and offer impressive clarity within architectural designs.

IQ Glass also provided a series of sliding doors sets on each level, keeping framework to an absolute minimum. This further enhances the minimalistic interior design and allows the focus to be on the books and artwork within the library.

Overall this project was a unique design that the team at IQ Glass thoroughly enjoyed being a part of. The project enabled the team to create something extraordinary and push the boundaries of modern architectural glazing.