The new Lyman Beecher Brooks Library is sited at the geographical and symbolic heart of the school, and is an important pedestrian gateway for the campus. The building is configured as a circuitous rectangular form that serves to enclose the academic quadrangle to the west and the student life commons to the east. The university and design team set three objectives for ASSOCIATED FIRMJohn Portman & AssociatesCOST PER SQ FT$289.20FEATURED IN2014 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYLibraries/Media Centers design of the library:
• Put the Learning Resource Center elements on Display. The interior of the new three-story, 136,000-square-foot library is minimal, orderly, and modern by choice. The center showcases traditional educational resources such as books, journals, and audio/visual materials, while also promoting electronic information resources. The interior program spaces are designed to create a sense of openness and provide visual connection to adjacent activities. The user-friendly, learning-centered environment is an inviting place for students and community members to research, study, and collaborate.
• Create a hub for students, faculty and community interaction. The three-story glass rotunda is intentionally placed on the axis of the primary pedestrian thoroughfare running east-west on campus, and acts as a welcoming beacon. Students can circulate from one end of the campus to the other through the main rotunda. The large rotunda lobby is a dynamic multi-functional space that can host a variety of events or exhibits.
• Sustainability. Natural light is harvested to illuminate a large portion of the interior volume. The building’s stepped floor plate design allows for controlled natural light to ‘filter’ back into the adjacent support spaces off the main reading room. The library is designed and built to LEED Version 2.2 standards to reduce energy and water use, improve indoor air quality, and promote the wise use of materials. The project earned LEED Gold certification.