Today’s libraries are much more than the hushed, enclosed, musty-smelling buildings we all remember from childhood; many public and school libraries now include innovative outdoor spaces, as well, for reading, learning and socializing. One way to bring patrons closer to nature while reading outdoors is to surround them with plants, trees and bushes housed in artistic metal planters. Outdoor library spaces are made more usable, relaxing and comfortable with the inclusion of potted plants.
Many libraries have converted or built patios, terraces or balconies adjacent to the main library building. These outdoor areas quickly become popular for patrons of all ages to take their library experience outside — whether it be for quiet reading, working on a computer, relaxing, or meeting a group of friends.
Plants in containers to divide spaces for different uses
Incorporating plants showcased in handcrafted, contemporary planters into the overall landscape design assists library designers in creating successful mixed-use outdoor areas: potted plants are very effective at naturally dividing space and absorbing sound.
To keep a quiet outdoor reading area separate from a more social space filled with benches, tables, and couches, line the area between them with tall, full plants in square metal planters such as the Modern Elite Cube Planter from PureModern. A natural barrier will be created, but one that is lush, green and inviting, rather than something sterile like a screen or wall.
Utilizing metal planters on a library patio to create shade
Plants can also be used to provide natural shade on an otherwise-sunny outdoor “reading porch.” Most people find it hard to read a book (or view a laptop screen or tablet) in direct sunlight, so create shaded oases for patrons outside with shade plants in elegant, contemporary planters.
Metal planters are also a great addition because they are low-maintenance and durable. Our aluminum planters are particularly suited for outdoor spaces because they are watertight and powder coated inside and out, so they are able to withstand the elements. If you are interested in learning more about planter materials, make sure you check out this article.
Conversely, you can also go with a planter with a metal finish. The Nova Bell Shaped Planter has a rich, Asian urn style that is available in a black zinc, bronze or copper metal-infused finish. These metal finishes are optimized for outdoor use and will develop a soft patina over time.
Incorporating small plants and flowers for aesthetic reasons
Shorter plants and flowers also play a role in outdoor library space design to help establish a warm, colorful environment. Use metal planters filled with succulents, small bushes or flowers interspersed throughout the library’s balcony or patio. Place them near rocking chairs, reading benches or along staircases or pathways.
Spherical contemporary planters containing the same plants are a stunning way to achieve a cohesive look. For example, use varying sizes of the Globe Planter (a full sphere with a small opening at the very top for planting) or a row of Sunrise Planters (spherical, with an angled, wider opening) on each step of a short staircase to add visual interest and color.
Create warm, inspiring outdoor library spaces conducive to reading, relaxing and socializing by adding a variety of plants in upscale metal planters with superior-quality finishes designed to age naturally outdoors.
To learn more about custom-made fiberglass and metal planters and request a quote, visit our Custom Planter Quote Request page.