The Agnes Irwin School, Upper School Library

Rosemont, Pennsylvania

The library, built in 1971, functioned as two separate spaces on two separate floors. Its redesign was a response to a 25 percent increase in student population, curriculum changes and a dramatic increase in the infrastructure needs for information technology.

Objectives for the project included unifying the library; making it responsive to new technologies and ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$159.00CITATIONGold CitationFEATURED IN2000 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYLibraries/Media Centers systems; and developing an interior language that suggested performance, tranquility and scholarship.

Features include visibility to the reading room, main collection and lounge; wiring for access to the electronic card catalog, CD-ROM reference materials and full- text databases; power and data raceways beneath the floor and concealed within the custom tables that add more than 100 access points to serve fixed workstations and laptop computers; a slatted metal acoustic ceiling and environmentally sensitive, composite ash veneer walls to make the space quiet; and customized task lamps and ceiling fixtures, cherry furnishings and glass railings.

Photographer: ©Tom Bernard

"Very refined detailing...excellent blend of wood, light, design and functionality."—2000 jury