This expansion preserves the original library’s architectural integrity while optimizing its location at the heart of an evolving campus. The two-level subterranean addition wraps around the existing structure on the north, east and south sides.
Between 1968 and 1998, the student population at the University of Utah doubled and the number of volumes in the library CO FIRMGunnar Birkerts Architect Inc.ASSOCIATED FIRMBurtch W. Beall CAPACITY2,000COST PER SQ FT$138.75FEATURED IN1999 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation from 1,800,000 to 2,750,000. The programming challenges of this project involved accommodating this substantial growth and also planning for the next 20 years.
The expansion provides 4,000 book stacks, 1,400 reader stations, audiovisual facilities, 250 computer stations, multimedia classrooms, a reserve reading area, a 200-seat auditorium and an extended-hours study area.
Extensive incorporation of daylighted courts and skylights reduces eyestrain and minimizes fatigue for users. The design also features: HVAC/humidity control system to keep users comfortable and the library’s collection secure; indirect lighting system and data/power raceway system to facilitate computer-technology integration; underground air-duct system that takes advantage of “passive ground cooking;" electrical and mechanical services wrapped around the original building’s basement core, allowing for a thin sandwich between floors and ceiling heights of 10 feet.
Photographer: ©Balthazar Korab