Washington and Lee University, James Graham Leyburn Library

Lexington, Virginia

  • FIRM

    SFCS Architects


    Washington and Lee University

  • AREA

    31,309 sq.ft.





Leyburn Library is one of the primary venues on Washington and Lee’s campus where students can conduct research, study or gather with other students for group work. The library has served the students well; however, the university saw the need to modernize the facility both technologically and aesthetically to continue drawing students to ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$39.67FEATURED IN2009 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation resources.

The project scope involved renovating the library’s main floor and moving library technical services, which occupied one-third of this floor, to the downstairs level. The existing entry remained and a new entrance was created to establish a better connection to student activity. A new help desk, jointly operated by the library and information technology services, is situated front and center.

Prior to the renovation, student spaces were decentralized, feeling small and uninviting. Now, the floor plan is more open, with lounge areas and a cafe providing comfortable places for interaction. Utilizing architectural elements, furniture, lighting and stacks to transition from public space to quieter study areas enables many types of experiences to occur within one space.