The university wanted its new library to be a campus landmark, easily visible to users and symbolic of its commitment to excellence. It had to house print collections and provide ample computer/Internet hookups, while offering users comfort, appealing views, natural light and future flexibility.
For architectural distinction, designers broke the linear, boxy pattern ASSOCIATED FIRMStageberg, Beyer, SachsCOST PER SQ FT$159.20CITATIONSilver CitationFEATURED IN2001 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYLibraries/Media Centers neighboring buildings by using projected exterior forms such as large, curvilinear reading rooms. The exterior is special red brick. The main entrance has a five-story rotunda with a dome and skylight.
Study tables and carrels have power and data connections for laptop computers. All floors have online computerized catalogs. The complex has 251 computers, 10 printers and 49 laptop connections, with plans to phase in more equipment each year. The library has 1,361 individual user seats, all wired for online use.
The interior features two-story reading rooms on the first and third floors overlooking nature areas, and two rotunda reading rooms with panoramic views of Lake Superior.
Interior finishes are light-maple woodwork of custom study tables and carrels.