University School of Milwaukee – Stratton Preschool/Lower School Library


University School of Milwaukee


Milwaukee, Wisconsin


2,500 SF



In 2019, R/S worked together with the University School of Milwaukee to plan a refresh of their Lower School Library.  The redesigned space, imagined as a wooded forest, has a palette of warm earthy tones and a playful carpet depicting a meandering path and flowing stream.  One of the most impactful project elements is the tranquil woods statement mural that hangs on the stage wall.  Two cut-out trees provide a whimsical gateway that welcomes you into the space and the gradation of painted walls creates a sense of walking deeper into a forest.

The furniture was updated to a more functional and flexible system, which can be easily reconfigured, allowing for multiple uses of the space.  The team also lowered the bookshelves, creating easier access for the younger students along with improving sightlines for faculty.  Fluorescent lighting was replaced with discreet LED wall-washing fixtures that illuminate the ceiling without taking away from the architectural features.  Animated “bird-like” light fixtures were selected, as they evoke a sense of flight and movement, which reinforces the overall design concept.

Both students and faculty alike can now enjoy this charming hidden forest for years to come.