From the onset, this 302,000-square-foot facility was to serve as an icon for the university and an interactive hub for the campus. This new facility was to defy the “boring library” stereotype and be a place where students want to be—a place that invites students, faculty and the community. The goal of the project was to replace the existing campus library and create a ASSOCIATED FIRMWelles-Pugsley ArchitectsCAPACITY2,600COST PER SQ FT$165.50CITATIONLouis I. Kahn CitationFEATURED IN2001 Architectural Portfolio of knowledge and learning that is interactive with all aspects of campus life.
The architectural solution is an integration of strong geometry, natural daylighting and functional organization. Influenced by the desert environment, the design uses strong geometry to harvest, shade and deflect natural daylight. It also is used to differentiate itself from surrounding campus buildings. Natural daylighting is used extensively throughout the building not only to reduce lighting and cooling costs, but also to add an intrinsic defining element to the interior environment.
Functional organization revolves around a technology-rich Information Commons, visible to all major library functions. It includes an automated storage and retrieval system that will hold up to 1.2 million volumes. The layout places social functions such as the coffee shop at the library’s entry and the quiet areas at the perimeter. In essence, the library provides 2,600 reader stations with a variety of study environments.
"A striking building that is organizationally sound; changes the image of the library stereotype."--2001 jury