Materials Library Design

, Subject : Design, Recognition

Materials LibraryRoots have developed a concept and design for a Materials Library, prompted by Architecture and Design Scotland’s (A+DS) recent competition. The brief for the formal competition was to ‘produce a permanent resource for building professionals, students and the general public who have an interest in sustainable and ingenious Scottish building materials. The resource will be in the form of a dedicated materials library, which will be a place to view, touch and research actual samples of building materials.’

Though not formally submitted, Roots took this brief to create a bespoke design composed from a series of large vertical enclosed draws. Made from sustainable Scottish timbers, the draws would create a hardwearing, flexible and interactive unit suitable for both storage and display. Each material would be given its own draw that would contain physical samples, case studies and fact sheets. The ‘edge’ of each draw informs the user of the material and information described therein, which is revealed when the draw is pulled out. The unit was to be freestanding to allow new draws to be added or so it could be set in an alternative location.

The Materials Library resulting from the A+DS competition is intended to be located at The Lighthouse in Glasgow and complement the existing virtual Green Directory ( In the competition notice A+DS said ‘it is envisaged that the library will contain samples and examples of sustainable and indigenous Scottish construction materials and components. This resource will be open to the wider public and professionals and will complement our ongoing Material Considerations exhibition programme.’

Entries to the formal competition were due to be submitted in mid-July, and we are looking forward to the seeing the results.

A+DS are ‘Scotland’s champion for good quality design in the built environment.’ They seek ‘to raise the aspirations of all involved in the commissioning and design of buildings and places’ providing ‘practical advice, support and training for professional designers, community groups, private individuals and young people in order to improve skills and ensure that new development and regeneration create places that people will love and enjoy using.

Roots worked with architectural designer Iain Carroll on this project, with Iain taking a lead role. It was an enjoyable and productive partnership that we hope will continue in the future.

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