Reading Room Renovation

The “Reading Room” on the top floor of the library, which should be a location for reading and study, has constantly been overlooked by students and for good reason. This post will explore the issues that are presented by the space and the solutions that can be implemented to make this area more attractive and memorable for students.

The problems:

  • The Lighting: When  reading, a brightly lit area may be very productive but it may also be very distracting to certain people. The warmth of the artificial lighting may also affect the mood of the individuals  in the environment.
  • The special environment: The space where the reading room is in is too open, this can create a sense of discomfort rather than the cozy environment that most would like to associate with reading. The open environment of this reading space can cause the individuals to lose focus.
  • Color: The colors of the reading room seem to be too sterile. This may cause individuals to treat the area the same way they would a hospital; go there only when you need to.
  • Feels ‘dead’: When asking a fellow  NYUAD student  about the room, they stated that the place feels dead and has no life to it making the individual feel unwelcome.
  • Seating arrangement: currently the seating arrangement is set up in such a way that there are two rows of seating, one that faces the wall and another which faces the walking path. This seating arrangement can cause a lot of distractions as people walk back and forth.

The Solution: 

  • The Lighting and The special environment: In order to create a cozy and productive environment one can:
    • Use artificial lighting to create an environment that can stimulate focus. This can be done by using two floor lamps for the area. (Image 1.1)
    • The natural light in the space can be controlled by using single blade wall dividers.  These dividers can be manually adjusted for privacy and light intensity (Image 1.2) The Wall divider is also a solution for controlling the special environment of the reading room.
    • A Bookshelf packed with books and miscellaneous items that spans the wall can also aid in creating a cozy and productive environment.
    • When redesigning the special environment of the reading room one must remember not to close off the area too much. This may cause claustrophobia.
  • Color: When attempting to create an environment that is cozy and hospitable one could use earthy colors such as brown and  various shades of gray.
  • Feels ‘dead’:  Plants may be used to increase creativity along with reducing depression and anxiety. Some plants that can be used in a work environment are Aloe, Ivy, Peace Lily or simply rubber plants
  • Seating arrangement: One suggestion to remove the distraction of passerby is by moving the seats to face the bookshelf. A side table for every seat will also allow individuals to place items close by rather than on the floor. (Image 1.3)


(Image 1.1) The famous Arco floor lamp.


(Image 1.2) Ella White Room Divider Single Blade


(Image 1.3) Sumatra Over Arm Side Table

Websites Used 


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