Serota has gained a reputation for fulfilling even the most challenging of library design briefs. With over 100 years' experience of manufacturing and fitting, the company is noted for creating fine furniture that is in keeping with its surroundings, from refurbishment projects in listed buildings through to the most contemporary of designs.


The Royal Society of Medicine

  • Type of Project: Library
  • Key Sector: Academia
  • Commissioned: 2005
  • Location: London W1

Serota understands libraries, furniture and buildings. This combination ensures a bespoke design which really meets the needs of a library. Their 40+ years of experience of refurbishing and equipping new libraries means they are in a unique position to advise librarians; most of whom will only be involved with planning one or two new libraries during their careers. The benefit from Serota's wide experience is so useful.

Ian Snowley, Director of Information Services, The Royal Society of Medicine


The Royal Society of Medicine Library, with a total collection of half a million volumes dating back to the 15th century, is the largest postgraduate biomedical library in Europe.The library is used predominantly by 18,000 plus members that the organisation has across the world. The library which has in excess of 14,000 visitors a year, is used mainly for study and reference.

The Challenge

The refurbishment of the library had been planned since 1999 and library staff had been talking to Serota about the potential project since that time. In 2003 when Ian Snowley was appointed Director of Information Services, the refurbishment project started to become reality.

The library had a historic fabric; however, the Society wanted furniture which was modern and functional, yet sympathetic to the history of the building.

The Solution

Serota was contacted to produce a design for the refurbished library, working with library staff so that it reflected the building's history, library users and staff needs. One of serota's suggestions was to merge existing furniture with new furniture to ensure continuity 'of feel' for the library

Serota was responsible for most of the specialist joinery during the 18-month project including the bookshelves, desks, counter and the innovative angled journal racks.


The library is aesthetically pleasing, user friendly and is in keeping with the history of the building.

Serota. Over 100 years' experience of bespoke furniture craftsmanship & design