In the years since the Patten Free Library in Bath, Maine was last renovated, which was in 1998, the Library’s staff recognized that the addition of dedicated spaces for teens would provide a tremendous benefit to the community. To provide this space, the Library collaborated with Scattergood Design of Portland, architects of the 1998 expansion and renovation, to create a distinctive Teen Area within the existing building. Recently completed, the centerpiece of the Library’s new Teen Area is a two-story “pilot-house” study carrel with floor-to-ceiling interior windows, a range of seating, study and maker spaces, and a view from a birds-nest perch of the Kennebec River, home of the historic shipyard downriver at Bath Ironworks.
Suspended overhead in the carrel is an array of 5’ x 8’ Transformit Sentry FireFlys. Hanging from single points and flown just beneath the ceiling, the white FireFlys evoke the seabirds and sailing ships of coastal Maine. Our standard FireFly is constructed with a single layer of stretch fabric, but can be modified to suit the particular needs of the installation. By example, for a recent project in Modesto, California, we doubled the fabric layer in the FireFlys to reduce light transparency and provide more interior shade. In this setting for the Library, these FireFlys feature a sewn-in acoustical fabric backing, providing acoustic absorption in an artistic form for this study space.
Architect, Pamela Hawkes, of Scattergood Design shared the following with us about how our FireFlys fit this project. “Acoustic absorption was a key requirement for the Patten Free Library Teen Area, to enable a lively range of programming including films, maker workshops and group study without disturbing other patrons. The new space is carved out of the existing Nonfiction Stacks, with its distinctive high ceiling and curved outer wall, so it was also important that the treatment be relatively “transparent” and preserve the character of the space. The relatively small, floating Transformit (FireFlys) satisfied both objectives. Their sail-like shape also resonated with the design theme of exploration, inspired by Bath’s shipbuilding heritage, and complemented other features such as the elevated “pilot house” study carrel.”
“The FireFlys add so much to this great space," said Library’s director, Lesley Dolinger. "For example, something extra thing about these we hadn’t anticipated, is they really look neat when viewed through the windows from outside. We love them.”
Architect & Design: Scattergood Design
Location: Patten Free Library, Bath, Maine