Originally founded as a technical institute, recently Hawkeye Community College has shifted its focus and added a liberal-arts program that designates it as a community college. With an expanded knowledge base and the school’s growth, the library quickly outgrew its space.
The library needed not only more space, but also an image of its own. The architect, working COST PER SQ FT$117.00FEATURED IN2001 Architectural Portfolio a site committee from the campus, chose to place the library adjacent to the circular student center, a campus icon. Creating a library with its own distinct image and locating it next to the campus signature building presented the designers a challenge that led to many of the design’s features.
In juxtaposition to the circular glass student service building, the new library uses gently curved precast concrete walls that echo and reflect the neighboring form. The use of large glass expanses to the south and north on the library not only creates a lively interior, but also pays respect to the adjacent materials.
The building’s interior creates its own unique challenges. The college also wanted the library to house classrooms and faculty offices. Adding those spaces while meeting the library’s security needs gave rise to the building’s layout. The facility also was built for the eventual expansion of the library into all portions of the building.