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KDS kids in their element with new library



It’s often said that a library is a cathedral for books, a museum for stories, where silence is law and the librarian rules. This idea was flipped on its head with the launch of the magnificent new Elements Media Centre at King David Sandton (KDS) Primary School, which aims to reinvent learning.

The centre was driven by the passion of Natalie and Ian Lutrin on behalf of the Lutrin family in honour of Ian’s late mother, Shelley Anne Lutrin, who in the early 1980s, with no existing library at KDS, walked from classroom to classroom, pulling a wagon filled with books, determined to get every single child to read.

The interior is inspired by earth, air, water, and fire, with each element bringing its own explorative magical experience. Within fire, students can read and play in the tepees, discuss ideas around the proverbial campfire, play on the giant magnetic Scrabble board, or lose themselves in the largest Where’s Wally feature in Africa. Flued columns and a wave table create an “under the sea” experience in the water theme, where students read on spinning shell chairs beneath a giant whale. Tree snakes and tree pods provide a comfy reading space within the earth element, and the final element, air, brings to life the digital space. As if this isn’t enough, the ceiling displays the universe, its planets, and stars.

“It lends itself to stimulating lessons using top-of-the-range technology and equipment, and creates the perfect environment to collaborate, communicate, and create views and ideas,” says Asher Marcus from Hubo Studio, the architects of the centre.

“It’s a magnificent, safe place for our students to use on a daily basis, where a trip to the library becomes a magical learning experience,” said Lynne van Dellen, the head of school at KDS.

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