The new library for Howard University School of Law provides for a book collection of up to 215,000 volumes; seating for 295 students, including 90 open carrels, with all locations wired for computer use; microform and audiovisual facilities; and distinctive rooms of wood and brick for special collections, newspaper and periodical reading, and the Rare ASSOCIATED FIRMBaker/Cooper Architects, Inc., A Joint VentureCOST PER SQ FT$259.84CITATIONGold CitationFEATURED IN2003 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYLibraries/Media Centers Collection.
The four-story library is organized around the second-floor, triple-height Reading Room. The tall windows of this 4,000-square-foot space give views of the landscaped courtyard. Table and lounge seating for 80 students is provided in this great room, as well as the 2,000-volume reference collection. The study carrels are distributed equally on the second, third and fourth floors, which open directly to the Reading Room.
A wood-paneled lobby on the first floor connects the building entrances from the courtyard to the south and the parking areas to the north, and functionally separates the high-technology classrooms from the library proper. A tiered room for 50 students and a smaller room for 20 students provide both computer and audiovisual facilities.
Behind the grand stone stair that leads to the Main Reading Room are the primary support spaces for the administration of the library, computer and audiovisual services, and technical services.
"Great use of shape, natural light and color."—2003 jury