ARCHITECTS Browne Smith Baker chose grass over glass when they were asked to transform part of a college.

Darlington's Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College has an environmentally-friendly library and information technology (IT) suite with a grass roof following the completion of the £250,000 project.

Browne Smith Baker was given the task of turning the area into a light, energy efficient and healthy work environment.

Because parts of the college building overlook the library roof the remit also included making the site appealing to look at.

Walter Thompson Construction turned the architects' design into a reality.

Bill Thomas, the college's estate manager, said: "We wanted to keep light in the corridor around the roof of the library as well as make the room itself bright. But, we also wanted to make sure the college's old tower was still visible as well."

Windows were placed around the edge of the library's ceiling, allowing light in and the tower to be seen.

The energy-conscious design also allows natural ventilation to keep a good air flow around the computer area, making air conditioning unnecessary.

Browne Smith Baker, which is based in Darlington with offices in Newcastle, Leeds and Hull, recently completed a £300,000 IT suite at Stokesley School, North Yorkshire, and has just begun a £750,000 refurbishment of Stockton Sixth Form College.